Couple keep warmth and light in with yesteryear's resources
The clock has been turned back more than three decades for 80-year-old Wang Zhengli, who is relying on candles for lighting and coal for heating as blackouts continue in Hunan province .
Heavy snowfalls have forced Mr Wang and his 79-year-old wife, Xing Xuemei, to stay at home for the past 20 days.
They couple live with their son's family in Ningxiang county, usually about 30 minutes drive from the provincial capital, Changsha .
Since the snows arrived, it takes more than an hour to reach the county. Snow started falling in the middle of last month and the collapse of the county's electricity network after days of continuous snowfall left the entire population of 200,000 people in the dark.
Although power supplies resumed four days ago, Zhu Zhihua, the county's deputy party chief, said it would take about six months for supplies to return to normal.
At present, each district receives a few hours of electricity a day. After that, everything goes dark and cold again.
'There was power supply last night at 10 and it stopped this morning,' said Wang Jiajia, Mr Wang's son, who is also a deputy general manager of the county's water plant.
'I don't know when we will have it back today. I hope we could learn from the TV. The problem is, without electricity, there is also no television.
'Luckily it is winter break, otherwise my son will have to do his homework by candlelight.'
At least the family's taps are still running. Mr Zhu said more than 1,000 families in a remote part of the county have been without tap water for days.
The county's water pipes were not built to cope with continuous snowfall and many burst in the freezing conditions. The authorities sent fire engines to deliver water to families.
Firefighter Zou Yusong said the biggest fire engines could carry eight tonnes of water.
Staff at the county's water plant are working around the clock to fix broken pipes. 'We handle about 70 cases every day. We have reached our maximum capacity, Wang Jiajia said. 'I know there are people out there waiting for help. We just do not have the manpower to handle it,' he said.
The water plant has ordered its 220 staff to cancel their Lunar New Year holidays.
Changsha's winters are usually rainless and not very cold.