West China blizzards kill thousands of herd animals




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Blizzards in Tibetan areas of western China have left thousands of head of livestock dead and roads covered in up to 45 centimeters (18 inches) of snow.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday that local authorities had sent veterinarians, medicine and animal feed to the hard-hit areas in Qinghai Province’s Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

Villages in the area are above 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) and workers were seeking to clear roads to ensure the delivery of supplies, a task made more difficult by high winds and drifting snow.

Mainly ethnic Tibetan villagers in the area depend heavily on livestock, mainly Yaks, goats and sheep, for their livelihoods and to feed their families.

Harsh winters are routine in the Himalayan region that long fell within Tibet’s traditional borders.

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