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Postby tujue » 15 Sep 2018, 15:30

LANZHOU, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- When the first-ever railway in the mountains of Dangchang County, northwest China's Gansu Province, opened Monday, a peasant woman Yang Ganu was there to witness her 20-year-old dream come true.

She traveled more than 2,700 kilometers from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to her hometown, accompanied by her youngest daughter Li Youxia, 20.

Yang, born in 1968, left her home in 1996 and moved to Xinjiang with her husband and two daughters, driven to leave the extreme poverty in one of the least developed areas in China.

Twenty years ago, her hometown in the hinterland of Longnan City was surrounded by rocky mountains and had little arable land. The villagers had to hike long distances in their hunt for fertile soil to grow anything.

A photo taken by Xinhua in 1996 showed Yang and her baby daughter sitting in their family's dirt hut. On the wall behind them, her husband had drawn, with charcoal, a train zigzagging through the mountains.

"We were having the hardest time in those days: we never had enough to feed the entire family of four," said Yang, who used to beg for food in neighboring counties, carrying one of her daughters on her back. "We longed to take a train to a richer place where we could make money more easily."

Later that year, the family hiked out of the craggy mountains and traveled northwest to Xinjiang, a place they heard had rich natural resources and fertile land.

Life in Xinjiang is much better. Yang's husband works as a cleaner in the regional capital Urumqi, and Yang has settled down with the children in the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bortala, where she makes a decent income harvesting cotton every summer.

The daughters have grown up. The oldest is married and has a baby; the youngest works as a hotel cashier.

"It is amazing our remote hometown has got access to trains," said Yang, who is visiting her home county in Dangchang at the local government's invitation.

The nearest train station is 10 km from her old home.

The newly-opened train route in Yang's hometown is part of an 855-km railway linking Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province, with Chongqing Municipality in China's southwest. The entire route will open by the end of next year.

Yang's daughter, Li, said the hometown is completely different to the one her parents told her about.

"They said every family lived in shabby huts and never had enough to eat, but I saw all new houses and the people living a decent life," Li said.

About 910,000 people in Longnan have been lifted from poverty over the past five years. Meanwhile, the poverty rate there has dropped from 53 percent to 16 percent, according to local government figures.

In addition to more infrastructure and better farming conditions, many farmers have taken advantage of the boom in e-commerce and sell their farm produce nationwide.

"When the entire railway opens, I will come back more often," Li said.

A powerful typhoon left three dead and threatened to bring heavy rains and winds to the heavily-populated Philippine capital as it dragged its way across the archipelago on Monday Marouane Fellaini Jersey , spoiling the Christmas holidays.

Typhoon Nock-Ten, which made landfall on the eastern island province of Catanduanes on Sunday, is forecast to move westward towards the country's heartland, packing winds of 215 kilometres (134 miles) per hour.

A couple were reported killed by a flood while an elderly man was crushed by a falling wall, governor of the storm-ravaged eastern province of Albay Al Bichara said on local television.

More than 383,000 people have fled their homes while over 80 domestic and international flights have been cancelled, the civil defence office said, as the unusually late typhoon marred Christmas celebrations in the largely Christian nation.

The government weather station said Nock-Ten is moving northwest at 20 kilometres per hour and is expected to affect Manila and the surrounding area later in the day.

The bustling metropolis of about 13 million was eerily quiet the day after Christmas with the usual holiday revellers staying indoors as the storm approached.

The civil defence office said the capital could suffer "heavy to intense rains, flashfloods and severe winds," with rescue boats ready to be deployed in case rivers overflow.

"Our local disaster councils are on red alert. We have pre-positioned relief supplies and rescue and (road) clearing equipment in Metro Manila," said Mina Marasigan, spokeswoman for the country's disaster monitoring council.

The coastguard on Sunday ordered the beaches south of Manila to be cleared of holidaymakers by Monday, while residents of the capital's seaside slums were warned to leave their homes.

The storm previously cut off electricity to millions and forced government agencies to order evacuations of whole communities in the eastern region of Bicol which felt the brunt of the storm on C

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