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Torrential rain suspends railway operations in NW China


16:42, July 22, 2013

LANZHOU, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Torrential rain and landslides over the weekend have forced a major railway line to suspend operations in northwest China's Gansu Province, the railway bureau said Monday.

At least 19 trains were stranded or halted and another five detoured along the Lianyungang-Lanzhou Railway since Sunday after continuous rain hit the section linking Longxi County and Tianshui City in the province, said an official with the Lanzhou Railway Bureau.

Weather records showed precipitation reached up to 98.8 mm in Gangu County in the province late Sunday.

Landslides caused by torrential rain have led to mud and rocks settling on rail tracks, damaging the rail line and disrupting a part of the section in Gansu.

The bureau has sent more than 3,000 workers to inspect rail tracks and closed sections affected by landslides and rain, the official said.

Railway staff have been working with local grocery stores and restaurants to ensure there is enough food and water supplies on trains which are stuck on the railway, according to the bureau.

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake that struck at 7:45 a.m. Monday at a juncture region of two counties in Gansu has also complicated the situation.

A strong tremor was felt in the rail section linking Tianshui City and the provincial capital Lanzhou, but the earthquake did not cause damage to rail facilities, the official said.

Delivery of quake-relief goods is unaffected as rail transportation remains smooth between Lanzhou, Dingxi City and Longxi County, he added.

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