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
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
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 21, 2008)