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Emei landslides pose no harm to tourists

By Wu Yixue, China Daily, May 4, 2005

Mt. Emei, Sichuan (China) -- Two landslides in a popular tourist destination in Sichuan Province over the May Day holiday did not kill or injure anyone. It all took place at Mount Emei, one of China's four Buddhist Mountains and one of the country's most prestigious scenic spots.

That was despite hundreds of cubic metres of sand and stone pouring down onto a major road on May 2, the second day of the ongoing week-long May Day vacation.

The landslides, following heavy rainfall, were the most serious in six years.

About 7:40 am the first landslide occurred, seven kilometres from the Baoguo Temple on route to the Jinding (Gold Summit Peak).

According to the mountain's management authorities, hundreds of cubic metres of sand and stone suddenly swept down to the road which serves as the only passage to the Wannian Temple, Leidong Lawn and Jinding.

The authorities immediately began their emergency procedures.

Two nearby excavators were quickly taken to the site to clear away the sand and stone blocking the road.

To ensure the safety of the large number of tourists, management personnel also erected a cordon to prevent cars coming and going.

After about half an hour, most of the debris had been removed and cars and buses had just started to move again.

However, just then there was another powerful landslide in the same spot.

An estimated 10,000 cubic metres of stones, trees and mud came crashing down the side of the mountain, blocking the cleared passage.

The Mount Emei management authorities then mobilized more manpower and resources.

They opened a 2.5 kilometre-long passage nearby, linking Shichuanzi to Wuxiangang, so tourists could still go up and down the mountain.

The landslides were thought to be directly related to overnight rainfall.

The management team is on high alert against further landslides.

They said they are doing all they can to get the blocked passage open for tourists.



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