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Fog Strands 200 Vessels at Three Gorges Dam

More than 200 vessels were still stranded at China's Three Gorges Dam area on Monday by thick fog that rolled in late on Saturday, waterway authorities said on Monday.

Visibility was only 200 meters at 10:00 AM on Monday and ship lock navigation was still suspended, said the Yangtze River Three Gorges Navigation Bureau.

Navigation has been halted for more than 35 hours since Saturday night.

Twelve cargo vessels were still stranded in the ship lock.

Weather forecasters say the fog may disperse later on Monday.

The Three Gorges -- the Qutang, Wuxia and Xiling gorges -- extends about 200 kilometers on the upper and middle reaches of the 6,300 kilometer Yangtze, China's longest river.

China launched the Three Gorges hydropower project and water control facility in 1993 with a budget of US$22.5 billion.

A 185-meter-high dam for the project was completed in 2006. The five-tier ship lock was commissioned in 2003.

Workers have so far completed installation of 21 generators. The project's 26 turbo-generators are designed to produce 84.7 billion kwh of electricity a year after its scheduled completion this year.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2008)

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