Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes reopen after floods in NW China province

LANZHOU, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, one of the country's three major Buddhist art treasures, reopened as the severe flooding has been effectively controlled in northwestern Gansu Province.

After days of work, the dikes were repaired and traffic resumed to all tourism sites in Dunhuang City. The power supply and telecommunication services also resumed, said a statement released by the Dunhuang City government on Wednesday.

The province's western cities of Jiuquan and Zhangye typically receive little rainfall, relying on water from the icecap of the nearby Qilian Mountain. Located in a basin nearby the desert, Dunhuang is a city affiliated to Jiuquan.

Heavy rains have battered Gansu Province since June 15. In Dunhuang, the rain-triggered floods submerged railways, destroyed a major bridge and hampered transportation and supplies of electricity.

LANZHOU -17 June 2011- Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, a world heritage site in NW China's Gansu Province, was temporarily closed to visitors as of Thursday because of torrential rains, according to local sources.

Reopening of the site will be decided by the weather conditions in the region in the days to come, said Ji Xinming, Party secretary of Dunhuang Academy which is responsible for research, protection and management over the heritage site.

"Due to consecutive torrential rains in the past days, humidity in the caves has exceeded the set limit. The temporary closure is imposed to protect interior murals," said Ji.

"Apart from the high humidity and the damage to the roads in the site, however, the torrential rains seem not to have caused other adverse impact on the caves," Ji added.

Downpours pounded the western part of Gansu Province Wednesday night and Thursday.

The Mogao Grottoes, or the Ancient Caves of 1,000 Buddhas, were listed in 1987 by the United Nations' Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization as China's first world heritage site.

No comments: