Thursday 19 April 2018

Nine people killed in avalanche in Tibet's far west

Nine people have died in an avalanche in Tibet
Nine people have died in an avalanche in Tibet

Nine people have been killed by an avalanche in the far west of Tibet, authorities and state media said.

Scores of yaks and sheep also died.

The victims were all residents of the village of Dungru in Ngari prefecture, more than 620 miles (1,000km) from the Himalayan region's capital, Lhasa.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday's tragedy sent snow 26ft (8m) deep crashing down on to nine herders, while also burying 110 yaks and more than 350 sheep.

Xinhua said fissures have been seen in glaciers surrounding the region, sparking fears of further avalanches.

The prefectural government confirmed the deaths in a brief online statement, but gave no other details.

The area where the avalanche hit, in Tibet's remote north-west, is filled with farms and pastures at an average elevation of 15,000ft (4,500m).

Rising global temperatures have been blamed for speeding up the melting of glaciers in Tibet, the source of numerous major Asian rivers, including China's Yellow and Yangtze, Burma's Irrawady and the Mekong, which ends in Vietnam.

China is already dealing with some of its most extreme summer weather in years, with at least 164 people killed and 26 left missing as a result of torrential rain, floods, landslides and hailstorms since June 30.

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