(TibetanReview.net, Jan19’23) – At least eight people have died and an unknown number have remained trapped after an apparently major avalanche hit the exit of a tunnel at about 8pm on Jan 18 in Nyingtri City of Chinese-ruled Tibet Autonomous Region, located close to the border of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The avalanche occurred on a section of the road between Phé Township in Mainling County and the exit of Doxong La tunnel in Metog county of Nyingtri City, with people and vehicles stranded, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 18 and globaltimes.cn Jan 19.
A working group, under the direction of Wang Xiangxi, the minister of emergency management, has been tasked with providing guidance to local emergency forces as they carry out search and rescue work, confirm the number of people affected, and the situation relating to buried vehicles as soon as possible, reported the official chinadaily.com.cn Jan 18.
As of 5:30pm on Jan 18, emergency rescue headquarters dispatched 246 rescuers, over 70 vehicles, 10 pieces of large-scale equipment and 994 search devices to excavate a rescue passage of 350 meters, said the globaltimes.cn report.
The number of people missing in the disaster remains unknown.
Popularized as “the Switzerland of Tibet”, Nyingtri is located at the relatively low average elevation of around 9,300 feet (3,100 metres).
The hilly area is known to frequently experience avalanches.