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Traffic route repairs progress slowly in Sichuan

07-04-2011 20:15 BJT

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Heavy downpours and subsequent mudslides have destroyed a section of National Highway 213. This route was considered a "vital lifeline" for delivering aid and supplies, following the devastating 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake. Urgent repairs are underway, but progress has been slow, due to harsh weather.

Water roars down ... wiping a section of highway off the map.

More than a hundred rescuers are now engaged in an intense fight to shore up the remaining roadbed.

Feng Xuegang, rescue worker said "Since the highway caved in, and is hollow inside, there's no way to repair it right now. What we can do now is throw cubic blocks into the river."

Heavy downpours and subsequent mudslides have destroyed a section of National Highway

It's a race against time, as rocks and mud continue to roll down from the mountains across the river, and cave-ins occur along the half-destroyed road.

The three-ton blocks work at the beginning. But as water rises, they're simply swept away.

Feng Xuegang said "We've used more than 50 blocks. Now we have to bind two or three blocks together, before throwing them into the river."

Heavy downpours and subsequent mudslides have destroyed a section of National Highway

And the mudslide seems to be a most unwelcome guest for teachers in a hurry to send examination papers to counties located upstream.

Local teacher said "We're carrying 700 exam papers for tomorrow morning. If it weren't for the rain, we would have arrived early."

A wall less than half-a-meter wide which was built to block the rolling stones from the mountains, has become the sole path for foot traffic.

Rescuers have stepped up their repair efforts. Vehicles could be able to start moving through again in about three days, if everything progresses without a hitch. But with more rain likely in the next few days, they may have to suspend the operation.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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