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Flooded world heritage Grottoes re-open to tourists

07-27-2010 15:05 BJT

The World Heritage-listed Longmen Grottoes in central China's Henan Province re-opened to tourists Tuesday, three days after floods forced authorities to close the site.

The 1,500-year-old grottoes were closed to the public last Saturday as waters from the swollen Yi River -- a branch of the Yellow River, China's second longest waterway -- flooded the trails linking the caves. In some parts, stagnant water rose to a knee-deep level.

But Buddha carvings and other cultural relics have not been damaged.

Tourists are still banned from entering the site at night as lighting has not been fully restored.

Recent floods in Henan have killed at least 52. Twenty others are still missing.

The World Heritage-listed Longmen Grottoes in central China's Henan Province re-opened to tourists Tuesday, three days after floods forced authorities to close the site.
The World Heritage-listed Longmen Grottoes in central China's Henan Province 
re-opened to tourists Tuesday, three days after floods forced authorities 
to close the site.

Related: Longmen Grottoes closed due to floods

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Torrential rain has not only caused serious disruptions to everyday life, but is also taking its toll on the historical sites and cultural relics in central China's Henan Province.

Luoyang, an ancient capital, has experienced its worst flood in five decades. And the Longmen Grottoes, most of its impressive collection of Chinese art date from 316 to 907 AD, represents the zenith of stone carving in China. The historical site now had to be closed temporarily because of the flood.

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