Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes reopen after floods in NW China province

Xinhua, June 22, 2011

LANZHOU, China -- The Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, one of the country's three major Buddhist art treasures, reopened as the severe flooding has been effectively controlled in northwestern Gansu Province.

After days of work, the dikes were repaired and traffic resumed to all tourism sites in Dunhuang City. The power supply and telecommunication services also resumed, said a statement released by the Dunhuang City government on Wednesday.

The province's western cities of Jiuquan and Zhangye typically receive little rainfall, relying on water from the icecap of the nearby Qilian Mountain. Located in a basin nearby the desert, Dunhuang is a city affiliated to Jiuquan.

Heavy rains have battered Gansu Province since June 15. In Dunhuang, the rain-triggered floods submerged railways, destroyed a major bridge and hampered transportation and supplies of electricity.

Dunhuang is a renowned tourist city known for the Mogao Grottoes, or the Ancient Caves of 1,000 Buddhas, which became China's first UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.