|Rescuers mourn the quake victims at the memorial service in Ludian County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 10, 2014. A 6.5-magnitude quake that struck Ludian County on Aug. 3 has left 617 people dead and 112 missing. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)|
A memorial service was held on Sunday in Ludian County of southwest China's Yunnan Province for the victims of the massive earthquake that hit the area a week ago.
At 10 a.m., locals and rescuers stood in silence to mourn the 617 people killed in the 6.5-magnitude quake that struck Ludian on Aug. 3. Some presented white and yellow chrysanthemums to pay a tribute to the deceased. Another 112 are still missing.
While people gathered in public spaces for three minutes of silence, drivers sounded their car horns in an equally powerful tribute.
"I am expecting those who lost their loved ones to survive doggedly," said Ke Guoxian, a teacher at the Third Elementary School of Ludian County.
"I am so touched and moved that so many people rushed to help us," said Ma Siying, a fourth-grader at the school.
Armed police officers and soldiers took off their caps to mourn.
Workers even took a brief break from the urgent job of draining a quake-formed barrier lake on Ludian's border with Qiaojia county before it breaks its banks and causes a secondary disaster.
But right after the three minutes, they restarted their excavators to continue digging a canal through a wall of the lake.
"We have made great progress in forming a flood relief channel through the hard rocks," said Zhan Bin, a rescuer from the Armed Police Hydropower Engineering Troops at the site.
A headquarters dedicated to the quake lake is eyeing opening the eight meter-deep canal through the blockage before Tuesday.
According to the provincial weather station, heavy rain will pound the quake zone in the next three days, likely causing landslides above the barrier lake.
Another person who went right back to work after the ceremony was Ma Yonggui, an ethnic Hui villager.
In the past week, Ma has called on 33 households of Hui minority people to set up a canteen serving halal food to all villagers and rescuers.
"There is no fixed dining time and we serve warm meals to anyone who comes at anytime," said Ma.