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Rescue underway to free 11 trapped in Tibet
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An operation to save 11 rescue team members stranded by snow in the Ngari Prefecture in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region was underway on Saturday after they had been trapped for at least 33 hours.

The trapped were previously sent to save others stranded by the snow but ended up stuck by the heavy snow. They were in good shape for they had brought with them sufficient food and medicines.

Local police were removing the snow to get close to them.

Snow began hitting the area on Friday with the maximum depth exceeding 30 centimeters.

Local police have rescued a total of 56 people and 18 vehicles that were trapped in the area.

Traffic on the Ngari section of the mountainous highway linking northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Tibet was still blocked by the snow.

Local meteorologist said the snow would continue in the Ngari Prefecture in the next few days.

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.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2008)

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