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Highway Bordering China, Nepal Reopens After Snow Cleared
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Traffic is moving again on the trans-border highway linking China and Nepal after 80 centimeters of snow blanketed the area, sources with the local authorities said on Sunday.



The snowstorm, the ninth in the past 40 days, hit Nyalam County, a border county in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on Monday, the regional meteorological bureau said.


The snow disrupted traffic on the Nyalam section of state highway No. 318 that connects with Shanghai in China's eastern coast with Tibet and extends into Nepal.


More than 20 snow slides blocked the highway and snowdrifts were meters deep, said Wang Riquan, head of the local police brigade responsible for the highway.


More than 250 vehicles and 500 people were stranded on the highway, and trade with Nepal was affected, said Soi'nam, deputy head of the county.


About 60 traffic policemen and workers used shovels, snow blowers and bulldozers to clear the snow and provide food and aid to people who were stranded. They worked for four days in a row and shoveled more than 30,000 cubic meters of snow.


The snow has stopped and no injuries were reported, local authorities said.


The No. 318 highway is the only highway linking China and Nepal. Nyalam in Xigaze is Tibet's largest land port and handles 82 percent of total trade between China and Nepal.


Soi'nam said the snow had also affected farming and local livestock.


(Xinhua News Agency March 19, 2007)

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