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Highway to Wenchuan reopens

Highway to southwest China's quake zone reopened after being blocked by landslide

    CHENGDU -- Traffic has resumed on a national highway to southwest China's Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the magnitude-8 Sichuan earthquake in 2008, after it was blocked by a landslide, said local authorities.

    The No. 213 National Highway was reopened around 8 p.m. Monday after two days' emergency work, said Gou Xueliang, deputy head of Wenchuan county department of transport.

    The landslide happened at about 10 a.m. last Saturday in Suoqiao Village. About 12,000 cubic meters of rocks and mud blocked the No. 213 National Highway, a vital lifeline for the reconstruction of Wenchuan, said Li Jie, an official with the county's information office.

    A passage was dug through earth deposited by the landslide Sunday night, but was not immediately opened to traffic because of concerns about the stability of the mountain, Gou said.

    The national highway has been closed three times since 2008 by natural disasters. Previously it was suspended because of the earthquake on May 12, 2008 and again by a rockfall on July 25, 2009.

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