Torrential rains damage cultural relics in Gansu's grottos

Updated: 2012-08-01 10:58

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Rain-triggered flooding and mudslides have seriously damaged cultural relics dating back more than 1,000 years at a temple's grotto in northwest Gansu province, government authorities said Tuesday.

Torrential rains started near the Bingling Temple in the grottos of Yongjing county, Linxia Hui autonomous prefecture, on Monday morning, submerging parts of the stone statues, stupas and murals in the temple's lower section, said a written statement issued by the Yongjing county government.

The relics were created during the Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties.

Accumulated water levels in the grottos have reached one meter, and sludge brought by floods from mountains was about 60,000 cubic meters high in front of the grottos, the statement said.

Located in a mountainous area to the southwest of the Yongjing county seat, the grottos are divided into three sections. About 300 cubic meters of mudslide debris blocked the road to the other two sections of the grottos, and information on damage there was not immediately known, it said.

Workers conducting research on the temple's cultural relics are rushing to clear rainwater and sludge from the grottos.