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Authorities investigate tourist accused of damaging unique landscape

By Liang Shuang | | Updated: 2023-08-07 17:11
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Authorities in Jingbian, Shaanxi province, are investigating a tourist who was accused of damaging a unique geological landform by standing and leaning on rocks in disallowed areas to take pictures while visiting a scenic spot, the county's culture and tourism bureau said.

In a statement on its social media account on Monday, the bureau said they have dispatched market inspectors on Friday to look for the person involved and will punish said person according to the law.

In a video circulating online, the tourist is shown to have climbed over a fence and made several poses while standing, leaning against and stomping on reddish rocks in the shape of waves as her companion told her to change poses for photographs.

Local authorities said the footage was taken at Bolanggu, a scenic area in Jingbian. Also dubbed the Red Wave of China by some tourists as it somewhat resembled the Red Wave in Arizona, United States.

The colorful reddish stripes, known as the Danxia landform, was formed because of various geological activities such as the squeeze and uplift of rocks and water erosion and weathering on red sandstone.

Scattered across various areas in China, the Danxia landform draws in a lot of tourists and several such spots have been listed collectively as a World Natural Heritage. However, it takes a long time for the landform to take shape.

A staff member of the scenic area told Shaanxi's High Wind News that the landform may look like regular hills, but it is actually more like a fossil. It would take 60 years or more for one footprint on the surface to return to its original look, as the dust would easily be damaged by simply standing on it, the staff member said, adding that footprints would accelerate the weathering and water erosion progress.

The scenic area said that they would usually patrol around such rocks and stop inappropriate behavior, or call the police if tourists don't obey.

Last month, in Colorful Danxia scenic area of Zhangye, Gansu province, a similar offense cost the tourist a fine of 200 yuan ($28) and a handwritten letter of apology.

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