Cultural Relics Escape Shaanxi Floods

Major archeological sites in northwest China's Shaanxi Province have escaped damage during recent floods, a provincial cultural relics official said Sunday.

Heavy rainfall from June 8 to 10 led to severe flooding in Shaanxi, killing 152 people and affecting 5.1 million others. About 110,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes to safer areas.

Fortunately Hanzhong City, a seriously affected region, organized a general check of major archeological sites before the flood season. As a result, though minor damage has been reported at some ancient temples, the cultural relics are safe and sound, says madam Du, who is in charge of the city's cultural relics protection.

Zhang Tinghao, director of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, said workers sent to flood-hit areas have reported they have not seen any major damage at archeological sites.

In the past, capitals for 13 or 14 ancient dynasties were set up in Shaanxi Province, the birthplace of the Chinese nation and of Chinese ancient culture.

The historical and cultural sites in Shaanxi are known throughout the world. The site of the terracotta warriors at the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang is the most famous of them all. Regarded as the "eighth wonder in the world", it has been listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2002)

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