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Sichuan-Tibet Highway Reopens to Traffic

The Sichuan-Tibet highway in southwest China re-opened to traffic at 11:10 AM on Wednesday after 94 hours of repairs.

Small vehicles could travel easily on the highway, but large vehicles had to wait until the road dried, said Li Xiping, a traffic police officer in charge of the project.

Rain lashed Nyingchi Prefecture over the past two weeks, which caused a mud flow to block a river near the road linking Tibet with the neighboring Sichuan Province on Saturday.

The rising water eroded the roadbed, resulting in the collapse of a 30-meter section of the road and halting traffic.

More than 120 soldiers worked to create a new road on Tuesday, with about 50m of the planned 100m emergency road completed.

The rain stopped at 2:00 PM on Tuesday.

August is a particularly wet month in Tibet. Rain in the mountainous region was up 30 percent in the first half of 2008 compared with normal levels, creating risks for road use and maintenance.

(Xinhua News Agency September 4, 2008)

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