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Strong gales halt train operations in Xinjiang

(Xinhua)

13:34, March 20, 2012

URUMQI, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Strong gales on Monday halted operations for 24 trains on two railway lines in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the local railway bureau said Tuesday.

The operations of 15 passenger trains traveling from the region's capital of Urumqi to Lanzhou, the capital of neighboring Gansu province, have been suspended since 4 a.m. Tuesday, an official with the Urumqi Railway Bureau said.

Another nine passenger trains running from Turpan to Kashgar along the railway line in southern Xinjiang have been halted since 9:45 p.m. Monday, the official said.

The trains will not resume operations until winds subside, he said.

Road traffic authorities closed a section of the state road in Maytas for 15 hours before reopening it at 8 a.m. Tuesday, as snow drifts brought visibility below two meters, according to the local road traffic management bureau.

Wind speeds reached 100 km per hour in some areas, and snowstorms also affected some areas, according to the region's weather forecasting station.

The station issued a strong wind alert on Sunday, which still remains in effect, as well as blizzard and sandstorm alerts on Monday afternoon.

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