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Tibet blizzard damages homes, disrupts traffic

(Xinhua)

09:00, February 10, 2012

LHASA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Heavy snow since Tuesday has destroyed homes and disrupted traffic, power supplies and telecommunication in parts of Tibet in southwestern China.

Blizzards have ravaged the Shigatse and Ali regions since Tuesday night. As of early Thursday, snow on the ground has accumulated to half a meter deep in those regions, said an official with the Party committee of Tibet autonomous region.

In Shigatse's Gyirong county, 11 houses collapsed in heavy snow and another 19 were damaged. No casualties were reported and residents of damaged homes have been relocated, said the official.

Meanwhile, strong gales have blown down two iron towers, cutting power supplies in parts of Shigatse.

The blizzard on Thursday also halted traffic on a section of the China-Nepal Highway, which links Tibet and Nepal.

Workers said it would take them five days to clean up the road, which is blanketed with up to two meters of snow, as their efforts have been impeded by gales and the freezing weather.

On Wednesday, police rescued 40 passengers trapped in four vehicles on a snow-covered section of a national highway in Zhongba county in Tibet's Ngari prefecture.

Heavy snow is expected to continue in parts of Tibet Friday, according to the state meteorological administration.

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