Monday, 27 June 2011

A 100 year Dunhuang flood


We’ve had the opportunity here in NUIT A&RT to work in China, on several cultural heritage projects, but our longest and deepest collaboration has been with the Dunhuang Academy. Today I received these photos from one of our associates, Peter Little of the Friends of Dunhuang Foundation. This past week the river that passes in front of the cliff scarp & the grottoes flooded in what was described as a 100 year flood.

Without having spent the time that we have there, it is difficult to imagine what these pictures represent. Annual rainfall at this site in far Western Gansu province is less than two inches a year. At this point in the summer most years, this river bed is a salty trickle.

The report from China is that there was no damage to the cave murals, but the flood closed the rail line and the airport, and caused significant damage to the new, still under construction visitor center.

Harlan Wallach, posted on 23 june 2011

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