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Missing geologists in Kekexili still unfound (2)

(Xinhua)

16:13, March 10, 2012

They also had a radio with a communication range of 15 kilometers and two GPS systems. Their food and water supplies, however, could last only seven to 10 days, said Shen.

The lake area, at an average altitude of 5,100 meters, is known for its tough climate and complicated topography.

Bai said they had searched almost every inch of land along the missing geologists' scheduled route, and captured satellite images of the area. "We found a few suspected 'targets' after a thorough analysis of the satellite data, and have sent rescuers to the sites for closer checks."

He said the next phase of the rescue work would focus on the blind areas, including every pit and ravine along the route.

"We'll do our best to search for them, but we also have to protect the rescuers' safety," he said.

Many rescuers are fighting altitude diseases, with three to four falling ill every day, he said.

Kekexili, also known as Hoh Xil, is a reserve that encompasses China's largest area of uninhabited land. It is home to several species of endangered wildlife, including Tibetan antelopes.

The region became well-known following the release of the award-winning feature film, "Kekexili Mountain Patrol" by Chinese director Lu Chuan. It tells the true story of a journalist who joined a Tibetan volunteer patrol to pursue poachers trading Tibetan antelope skins in Hoh Xil.

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