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25 people stranded in Tibet snowstorm

January 22, 2008

     LHASA, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- A snowstorm in Tibet Autonomous Region
trapped 25 people on Sunday, while 72 others were evacuated, officials said.

     The 25 people in five vehicles were stranded on a highway in Zanda
County, Ngari Prefecture, in dangerous conditions, according Hong
Xufeng, a prefecture official. A rescue team, equipped with food and
medicine, was moving toward them, he told Xinhua.

     Snow began hitting the area on Friday with the maximum depth
exceeding 30 centimeters. Traffic on the Ngari section of the
mountainous highway linking Xinjiang and Tibet has been blocked since
that day.

     By Sunday noon, local police and government staff had rescued 72
stranded persons.

     Rescuers found five people in two vehicles on Saturday night
suffering altitude sickness symptoms after being trapped more than seven
hours, said spokesman Kang Jinai. It took rescuers four hours to
evacuate them to nearby Shiquanhe town.

     An 11-member rescue team who became stranded themselves by the
heavy snow on Friday were evacuated to safety on Sunday afternoon.

     Ngari Prefecture, with an average height of 4,500 meters above sea
level, is very sensitive to climate change because of its high altitude
on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Editor: Yao Siyan
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