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Collapse of Ancient Wall in Xi'an Expected
Latest Updated by 2006-07-27 15:03:40
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(This photo taken on July 25, 2006 shows a partially collapsed ancient wall in Xi'an, capital of northwestern China's Shaanxi province Tuesday. The collapse of nearly 30 meters of the Ming Dynasty wall was reportedly caused by continuous rainfall in the city. No casualties were reported. Photo: China Daily)

An ancient city wall in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi province, collapsed on Tuesday (July 25). A local government official told a press conference Wednesday the collapse was part of a city wall restoration project.

However, earlier reports say the collapse of nearly 30 meters of the wall, constructed in the Ming Dynasty, was caused by continuous rainfall.

The official adds the government decided to begin restoration immediately after many problems were found during a one-year inspection, including sinks and cracks in the body of the wall.

As part of the plan, some body parts of the wall are to be taken out after the wrapping outer wall bricks are removed. Builders explain the "collapse" occurred to reinforce the base of the ancient wall.

The sound drainage system kept the ancient wall in good condition until now. But a number of drainage facilities in the system were severely damaged. Rain cannot drain, resulting in the cracks in the wall.

The head of a company working on Xian's ancient architectures, He Maoxiang, told the Sanqin Daily they were aware of the dangers of collapse from the very beginning and set up a scientific protection system for the restoration. The company has arranged eight people to monitor the construction safety work.

The wall in Xi'an was built in 1370 and is the largest and best-preserved in the world. It stretches 13.75 kilometers around the city and is 15 meters high at its tallest section. The wall was constructed with compressed earth, and then covered by bricks.

Over time, the wall's condition deteriorated. In 1983, the local government started a rebuilding and renovation project. However, some sections were renovated with red bricks, which were not used in the original construction.

To rectify this, the local government began working again on the collapsed section, replacing it with ancient-style bricks. The collapse will not slow down the project, which is expected to be completed before October.

Editor: Wing

By: Source: CRI web edition
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