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Sichuan-Tibet highway collapse worsens with rainfall

September 3, 2008 2008-09-02
Xinhua is the official press agency of the Communist Party of China.

     NYINGCHI, Tibet, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- A highway collapse in Tibet 
has reached nearly 100 meters from 30 meters previously after 
continuous rainfall in the autonomous region in southwest China.

     With traffic at a standstill, more than 100 vehicles were 
redirected to a town 40 km away. The local traffic authority was 
directing the detour.

     As moderate rainfall lashed the Nyingchi prefecture over the 
past two weeks, this caused a mud flow to block a river close to the 
highway linking Tibet with the neighboring Sichuan Province on Saturday.

     The rising water eroded the roadbed, resulting in the collapse 
of the 30 meter section of road and forcing the suspension of traffic.

     More than 10,000 cubic meters of earth along a section in 
Nyingchi, southeastern Tibet, had caved in as of Tuesday.

     More than 120 soldiers were working to create a new road on 
Tuesday with about 50 meters of the planned 100 meter emergency road 

     The project was expected to be finished in three days if weather 
conditions turned favorable, said Sun Hongjun, an armed police 
officer in charge of the project.

     August is a particularly wet time of the year in Tibet. Rainfall 
in the mountainous region increased by 30 percent in the first half 
of the year compared with normal levels, bringing risk to road 
maintenance and transport.
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