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Man killed as snows cover Tibet
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A herdsman was killed on Monday in Tibet's Cona county, as heavy snows that began on Sunday continued to wreak havoc in the autonomous region, the Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

The unnamed man was killed when a barn collapsed on top of him under the weight of the snow, the report said.

Nine other people remain trapped in a remote part of the county, and border police are trying to clear a path to rescue them, Xinhua said.

In Bomi county, two people have been reported missing, while dozens more have been left stranded across the region, the report said.

The rescue effort has been hampered by avalanches and landslides triggered by the storms, which have blocked roads and devastated communications networks, it said.

As of Monday evening, more than 160 km of the Sichuan-Tibet road, an arterial route linking the plateau to the rest of the country, were blocked by drifts of up to 1 m deep, local authorities said.

Armed police are working around the clock to reopen the road, Chen Jun, a senior officer said.

Another badly hit area is Zayu county, which was described as an "isolated island" yesterday by its head Peng Cong'en.

Nearly 100 km of roads in the county are inaccessible, he said.

More than 400 people were also left stranded at Gongga airport in Lhasa yesterday as all flights were cancelled.

A spokesman for the local weather station said the snowstorm is the heaviest in the region's history, with several counties reporting precipitation of more than 10 cm.

The snowfall is likely to continue for the next two days in some parts, he said.

Meanwhile, the Tibet autonomous regional government said yesterday it had allocated 9.2 million yuan ($1.3 million) to rebuild almost 1,000 homes demolished by the Oct 6 earthquake in Damxung county that left 10 people dead.

Ren Hongru, an official from the local civil affairs department said more than 2,000 tents, 3,000 quilts, and 400 winter coats had already been distributed to people in quake-hit areas.

(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2008)

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