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Flooding drowns hopes of tourists

07-26-2010 17:22 BJT

Relentless rains triggering flooding across the country this summer have drained some 20,000 visitors from an ordinarily must-see UNESCO World Heritage mountain adjacent to the Yangtze River so far this month, based on ticket receipts.

The Lushan Mountain, which occupies an area of 302 square kilometers and possesses rich cultural and geological attractions, has long been a popular destination for tourists to retreat from soaring summer temperatures.

"But not any more, as our sales volume shows", said an administrator at the waterfall that boasts three cascades - one of the 18 famous scenic spots of Lushan.

"The continuous rain since April, and the Shanghai World Expo have made us lose about 35 percent of our tourists this year", said Chen Bin, Party secretary of the company that administers the site.

Lengthy, zigzagging rails, normally packed with people like checkpoints at international airports, were all but empty on Friday, leaving a trickle of interested tourists no need to wait for panoramic cable car rides.

"About 20,000 people dropped their plans to spend summer here because of the rain", Chen said. "July and August was the peak season", he said somberly, "but we are not doing well."

Lushan is 19 km south of the city of Jiujiang in East China's Jiangxi province near Lake Poyang. The fast-rising Yangtze River flowing across Jiujiang had also raised water levels of the Poyang Lake above the warning line for months.


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