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China Observes Day of Mourning for Quake Victims

  • VOA News

Tibetan monks carry the body of a quake victim during a funeral procession in Jiegu, Yushu county, in China's northwestern province of Qinghai on April 21, 2010.

Residents and rescue workers in the western Chinese province of Qinghai gathered Wednesday to remember the victims of last week's deadly earthquake.

In a ceremony carried on Chinese state television, hundreds of people in the provincial capital of Xining bowed their heads for three-minutes of silence, while sirens and car horns blared in the background.

A similar ceremony was held amid the rubble in the earthquake's epicenter in the remote Yushu prefecture, where 2,064 were killed and another 175 remain missing.

In Beijing, President Hu Jintao led Chinese Communist Party leaders in a silent tribute in the city's Tiananmen Square.

The government ordered all flags in China and at embassies and consulates around the world, to fly at half-staff in tribute to those who lost their lives in the 6.9 magnitude quake that struck the remote Tibetan region on April 14th. Live and televised entertainment, including sports, has been curtailed for the day.

Rescue efforts continue although hopes of finding survivors are dwindling. A woman in her 30s was found trapped under a building on Tuesday. Workers are battling frigid, snowy weather as well as the physical effects of the high altitude. The weather is also hindering deliveries of aid.

More than 12,000 people were injured in the quake and tens of thousands were left homeless.

Tibetan monks have taken a lead role in the relief effort, helping to clear debris and distribute food.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has appealed to the Chinese government to allow him to visit the quake site, but Beijing has not responded.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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