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Sandstorm, snow close air link to China quake zone

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04/25/2010 10:38 AM
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Sandstorm, snow close air link to China quake zone
[link to www.alertnet.org]
25 Apr 2010 07:15:00 GMT
A choking sandstorm and heavy snow have severed a vital air link to the remote quake-hit Chinese county of Yushu, severely affecting relief efforts, state media said on Sunday.

An earthquake earlier this month in Yushu, high on the Tibetan plateau in western Qinghai province, killed more than 2,000 people and left thousands of others homeless in freezing temperatures.

Yushu's airport, only opened last year, has been an important part of the rescue mission following the quake, enabling aid workers and supplies to bypass the 800 km (500 mile) road trip from provincial capital Xining, and helping in evacuations of the injured.

But heavy snow has closed that airport, and a sandstorm sweeping across northwest China has closed Xining airport, state news agency Xinhua said.

"All the six daily flights from Xining to Yushu were delayed," it quoted a Xining airport spokesman as saying. "It is unknown when flights will resume."

The dust has penetrated the terminal, covering chairs with yellow grit and stranding hundreds of rescuers, the report added.

Love to Mother Earth Always