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Roads to Worst-hit Areas Resumed

Roads to areas worst hit by the quake have all resumed traffic after repairs. This will speed up the delivery of disaster relief materials. The railway and civilian aviation departments are also ready to transport relief materials and injured people.

The Transportation Department said last night that the National Highway route 213 from Songpan to Maoxian, and the Provincial Highway route 302 from Heishui to Maoxian have been reopened. This morning, the road from Maoxian to Beichuan also reopened. However, there are still more than 40 sections that require traffic to make detours. All the highways leading to the worst hit areas are open.

The Transportation Administration Bureau of the Public Security Department said on Saturday that they are controlling traffic on the road from Ya'an to Wenchuan in Sichuan Province, and from Ma'erkang to Lixian County to Wenchuan. These sections of road are open only to cars and trucks specially licensed for disaster relief work.

The railway department has ordered nearly 500 trains, to prepare to transfer severely injured people to hospitals in neighboring provinces. Disaster relief materials from around the country are arriving at the railway stations, including Chengdu, Deyang, Mianyang and Guangyuan.

The China Meteorological Administration said there is a greater possibility of geological problems in some quake-hit areas. Local residents and disaster relief workers have been told to pay special attention to landslides and falling rocks caused by the aftershocks.

The weather is fit for aerial navigation in the quake-hit areas. The Civil Aviation Administration of China has assembled helicopters at the Guanghan Airport to prepare for delivery work. The largest helicopter in the world, the Mi-26, also arrived in Guanghan. It will begin transferring relief materials and will transport injured people out of the quake hit areas. It can carry 20 tons of materials and more than 100 people each time.

(CCTV May 20, 2008)

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