Downpours force Mogao Grottoes to close

Updated: 2011-06-17 07:57
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Downpours force Mogao Grottoes to close

Road to Mogao Grottoes is damaged by floods after heavy rains in NW China's Gansu Province [Photo/]


LANZHOU - Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, a world heritage site in NW China's Gansu Province, was temporarily closed to visitors as of Thursday because of torrential rains, according to local sources.

Reopening of the site will be decided by the weather conditions in the region in the days to come, said Ji Xinming, Party secretary of Dunhuang Academy which is responsible for research, protection and management over the heritage site.

"Due to consecutive torrential rains in the past days, humidity in the caves has exceeded the set limit. The temporary closure is imposed to protect interior murals," said Ji.

"Apart from the high humidity and the damage to the roads in the site, however, the torrential rains seem not to have caused other adverse impact on the caves," Ji added.

Downpours pounded the western part of Gansu Province Wednesday night and Thursday.

The Mogao Grottoes, or the Ancient Caves of 1,000 Buddhas, were listed in 1987 by the United Nations' Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization as China's first world heritage site.