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July 4, 2013

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Rescue efforts on for missing hiker

POLICE in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will launch a new round of rescue effort for a Shanghai hiker who went missing after texting his father of a planned hike on June 10.

Police said yesterday they planned to intensify their search that could last eight to 10 days.

Xu Guang, a local adventurer, went into depopulated zones alone in Hemu area in Xinjiang on June 10. He was scheduled to take a return flight to Shanghai on June 19, but there was no news of him again.

Xu planned to spend eight days to finish his adventure covering the Hemu Village, Baihu Lake and Kanas area, according to a post on an online forum. He said that risks included external injuries, sprains, diarrhea, attacks from bears and drowning.

Xu was known to be an experienced hiker.

Xu's father told Xinjiang media that his son texted him on June 10, saying he had arrived in the Kanas area, and warned that he may lose signal in the trip.

"He asked us not to worry about him in the short message," Xu's father said.

That was the last anyone had heard from him.

"We worry a lot about his safety as so many days have passed," Xu's father said.

A task force comprising nine members, all veterans in rescue efforts, has been organized.

They will search the depopulated zones, police in Altay prefecture said.

Police said rescue efforts were organized after receiving calls from Xu's relatives on June 22, but rain had turned forest and grass into swamps in the vast and sparsely populated areas, making any rescue extremely difficult.

They said two rescue teams and local volunteers had already searched some of the areas, but came back empty handed.


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