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Millions Of Georgians Powerless After Snowfalls Down Pylons

Georgians queue for gas in Tbilisi, 22 January (InterPressNews) 26 January 2006 -- Around three million Georgians are without electricity today after heavy snowfalls ruptured power lines delivering electricity from western to eastern regions, including the capital Tbilisi.

The power shortage comes amid a continuing gas shortage following explosions on two of the main natural gas pipelines in southern Russia on 22 January.

Millions of Georgians have been left without heating. In Tbilisi, people were queuing up for gas cylinders and kerosene canisters.

Azerbaijan had stepped up gas supplies to Georgia following the explosions but had to cut back on 25 January for technical reasons.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has accused Russia of being behind the blasts. Russia strongly rejects the allegation.

Because of the energy crisis, Saakashvili has decided to cut short a trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

(AP, Civil Georgia, Interfax)

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