About a thousand tourists remain stranded in a remote village after an avalanche struck the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, closing highways.
According to the news agency, snow up to a meter high and extremely volatile weather prevent evacuation.
Mountain village pieces
-This avalanche situation is relatively special. “We have seen heavy snowfall before, but we have never seen such a high frequency of avalanches,” Road Service Chief Zhao Jinsheng told CCTV.
The landslide took stones and trees with it, making it impossible to use plow trucks. So rescue crews had to use shovels and excavators instead.
Tourists are in the village of Hemu, which was cut off after the avalanche. Hemu, bordering Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, is usually a favored destination.
Stranded tourists are reportedly getting free accommodation.
Snow seven meters deep
Heavy snowfall caused dozens of landslides along large sections of highways in the Altai Mountains, known for its famous ski resorts.
China's official media reported that some tourists were taken to safety by helicopter, according to Reuters.
In some places, the depth of snow reaches seven metres.
A military helicopter that was supposed to transport supplies such as flour and fuel was forced to be canceled on Tuesday due to storms in the mountainous region.
Clearing the 50-kilometre road will continue for a week.
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