China mourning quake victims

13:24, April 21, 2010      

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At least 1,000 people gathered in front of the town hall in Gyegu Wednesday morning to mourn those who were killed in last week's devastating earthquake.

The mourners, representing all the different ethnic groups in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, in northwest China's Qinghai Province, wore white paper flowers, a traditional symbol of mourning in China, and stood in silent tribute at 10 a.m..

The national flag in the square was lowered to half-mast and the national anthem played.

Even the rescuers, still working all-out to search for 175 people still missing, stopped for three minutes to mourn.

A dark banner hung at the square in front of the town hall, with white Chinese characters reading "In memory of our compatriots killed in Yushu earthquake."

The 7.1-magnitude quake shook the largely Tibetan community at 7:49 a.m. last Wednesday. As of Tuesday, 2,064 people were confirmed dead and 12,135 were injured.

Eight hundred kilometers from Yushu, thousands of residents in Qinghai's provincial capital Xining gathered in a downtown square to mourn the dead. They stood in silent tribute, with wreaths, white flowers and hearing the sad moaning of vehicle horns.

The national flag was lowered to half-mast at Tian'anmen Square in the heart of Beijing following the daily flag raising ceremony at daybreak, and crowds of people mourned the dead in Yushu and expressed their silent blessings for the survivors.

"It reminds me of the Wenchuan quake in 2008," said Beijing resident Wang Dan. "Again the Chinese nation is united to overcome all hardships."

Top Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao and all the other eight members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, also paid a silent tribute in Beijing to the quake victims.

Source: Xinhua


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