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131 rescued from snowstorm in Tibet
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The number of people rescued from snowbound highways in a region of Tibet since last Thursday had risen to 131 by Monday afternoon.

However, the government of Ngari Prefecture fears others are still stranded by a snowstorm that began sweeping through the area for four days.

One motorist, who had been stranded with 15 other people in three vehicles for two days on a highway near the Sino-Nepal border, told Xinhua by cellphone, "Rescuers have just arrived, and we are in good shape."

Ngari, a remote region in the west of Tibet Autonomous Region, has reported many sections of highways blocked by thick snow.

Local officials say many areas beyond mobile phone services are still cut off and they have no way of knowing how many other people are trapped.

As heavy snow continued to fall over large parts of China on Monday, widespread traffic disruptions were reported and at least four deaths caused by structures collapsing under the weight of snow.

Three of the fatalities were in central China's Hubei Province, which has had its heaviest snow in 16 years, and in the country's eastern province of Anhui, where it has been snowing since Jan. 11.

The cost of structural damage and crop losses caused by the snow is expected to be enormous.

(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)


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