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Hundreds of tourists trapped on Chinese mountain after strong winds stop cable car operations

More than 400 tourists were trapped on Huashan, a popular mountain scenic spot about 1,000km southwest of Beijing, after gale force winds stopped operation of the west cableway on Monday night.

The verified Weibo account of Huashan’s management office said operation of the west cableway was suspended on Monday because of gale force winds, Thepaper.cn reported.

The account said tourists were encouraged to walk to the east cableway and offered hot water, ginger soup and additional warm clothing.

An employee from the Huashan management office said staff persuaded some tourists to walk down the mountain or to take the north cableway, and those who were stranded were mostly elderly or people who could not walk well.

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The company that operates the cable cars said the Huashan observatory issued early warnings of winds of force six to seven at around 6:35pm on Monday. The winds later rose to force eight and nine, considered gale and strong gale, and the cableway was closed.

The Weibo account said the west cableway resumed operation at around 8am on Tuesday, and a high number of tourists were on the mountain. It advised visitors to avoid peak hours.

Almost 33,000 people visited Huashan on Monday between 12am and 6pm, on the third day of China’s seven-day national day holiday known as “golden week”, according to the report.

Holiday horror stories have abounded in the first three days of the holiday as scenic spots around the nation experience vast crowds of tourists, with some lacking the ability to accommodate such numbers adequately.