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Traffic resumes on blizzard-hit Xinjiang road

(Xinhua)

13:59, January 03, 2012

URUMQI, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Traffic on a major road in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region resumed on Monday evening, 17 hours after a snowstorm disrupted traffic and stranded hundreds of passengers.

The Maytas road in the Tacheng Prefecture had been closed since late Sunday night due to heavy snow and gusty winds, local traffic authorities said.

In some sections of the road, gales of up to 88 km per hour and heavy snow reduced visibility to zero. Up to 235 people and 63 vehicles were stranded for three hours until rescuers guided them to safety areas at about 4:30 a.m..

The storm let up at 6:30 p.m., allowing traffic to resume, but the driving conditions remained poor due to strong winds and ice on the road, the traffic authorities said.

The Maytas road lies in a particularly draughty part of Xinjiang and is prone to traffic jams under inclement weathers. In December 2011, a snowstorm struck the road, stranding 135 travellers for more than two hours.

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