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<-Back to WTN Archives Epidemics feared after heavy snowfalls in Tibet: Xinhua
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World Tibet Network News

Thursday, January 8, 1998

3. Epidemics feared after heavy snowfalls in Tibet: Xinhua

BEIJING, Jan 8 (AFP) - Chinese authorities fear an outbreak of disease
in Tibet following heavy snowfall which has caused "enormous difficulties,"
the official Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.

It said medical services in Nagqu, one of the most seriously affected
prefectures in the Himalayan region 250 kilometres (156 miles) north of Lhasa,
"have worked out active, effective measures to prevent the outbreak of
epidemics" amid the snowstorms.

Dozens of medical teams have been sent to stricken areas to administer
vaccines worth some 240,000 yuan (29,000 dollars), the agency said, adding no
epidemic had yet developed in Tibet.

"A general mood of order and serenity is prevalent in the region, where
local government departments and schools are in operation as usual," it said.
This was despite the "enormous difficulties for local life and production"
presented by the snow.

The agency said no Tibetan had died as a result of the heavy snowfall,
which has blanketed the region since September some 50 days ahead of its
normal annual arrival.

But the snowstorms, the heaviest to hit Tibet since records began 34 years
ago, have caused the death of some 100,000 head of cattle.

According to the London-based human rights group Tibet Information Network,
frostbite can reach epidemic proportions among nomads once animals stop
producing dung, a primary source of fuel.

Xinhua said the Chinese government had shown its "extraordinary great
concern" during the past months by distributing 27.25 million yuan (3.2
million dollars) in aid to the affected areas of Tibet.

"We will never forget the love and kindness exhibited by the government,"
the agency quoted a local official as saying.

The Chinese army invaded Tibet in 1951 and the territory's spiritual
leader, the Dalai Lama, fled his homeland in 1959 after an abortive uprising.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Hong Kong distributor plans to show Hollywood movies on Tibet
  2. Don't put business before human rights in China: dissident
  3. Epidemics feared after heavy snowfalls in Tibet: Xinhua

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