1,000 herdsmen trapped in Inner Mongolia’s snowstorm

Saturday, November 27, 2010

BEIJING - One of the heaviest snowstorms in 30 years has led to at least 1,000 herdsmen being trapped in the interior of China’s Inner Mongolia region, a media report said Saturday.

The snowstorm hit Xing’an prefecture, 1,500 km northeast of Inner Mongolia capital Hohhot, last week. Snow piled up to 30 cm in most parts of the region and a metre in some areas, the China Daily reported.

The snow was 40 days earlier than its usual arrival time and was the heaviest in 30 years, officials said. At least 700 livestock are believed to have perished in the storm.

The winds have so far hampered efforts to start a rescue operation in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which has been cut off since a major snowstorm a week ago.

The lives of the herdsmen were not threatened as they have enough stocks of food and no casualties have been reported, said Qiu Feng, a government official.

Though disaster response teams dispatched by the government have managed to clear the roads, snow kicked up by winds Friday have again blocked them.

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