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Old 05-19-2008, 10:45 AM  
royr17 royr17 is offline
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China stands still to mourn quake victims

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080519/...ina_earthquake

China stands still to mourn quake victims By DESSIANING ARIYANTI, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 12 minutes ago

WENCHUAN, China - China stood still Monday in mourning over tens of thousands of earthquake victims, and the government appealed for more international aid to cope with the country's deadliest disaster in a generation.

Construction workers, shopkeepers and bureaucrats across the bustling nation of 1.3 billion people paused for three minutes at 2:28 p.m. exactly one week after the magnitude 7.9 quake hit central China.

Air-raid sirens and the horns of cars and buses sounded in memory of the dead. Rescuers searching for signs of life among the rubble paused briefly then continued to dig but hopes for finding survivors a week after the disaster were growing slim.

Further adding to the tragedy, state news reported that more than 200 workers who had been repairing quake-shattered roads in Sichuan province were buried over the past three days by mudslides.

An official confirmed mudslides had caused some deaths but gave no details. "The total death toll is still being counted," said the official at the Sichuan provincial Communications Department who only gave his last name, Shi.

More potential landslides were predicted by the Central Meteorological Observatory, with heavy rains forecast this week for some areas close to the epicenter.

People in the quake zone have been terrorized this week by frequent powerful aftershocks as well as the constant threat of flooding, landslides and mudslides.

In Beijing's Tiananmen Square, thousands of people bowed their heads and then began shouting "Long Live China!" and thrusting their fists in the air. Traffic on the capital's highways and roads stopped, and some drivers got out of their cars.

The confirmed death toll from the May 12 quake rose to 34,073, the State Council, China's Cabinet, said Monday. Another 9,500 remained buried in Sichuan and more than 29,000 were missing, the provincial government said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Officials have said they expect the final death toll to exceed 50,000, with more than 245,000 reported as injured. Quake-related losses to companies totaled $9.5 billion, Deputy Industry Minister Xi Guohua said.

Hu Yongcui, 38, said she did not care about the official show of mourning as she headed to Sichuan province's Beichuan county, near the quake's epicenter, to search for her missing 17-year-old daughter.

"I can't feel anything. I have no words," she said. "I just want to go home. I just want to find my daughter."

In an indication of the challenge in dealing with millions of homeless and injured survivors, China said it would accept foreign medical teams and issued an international appeal for tents.

"China requests the international community donate tents as a priority when they donate materials because many houses were toppled in the quake and because it is the rainy season," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement, also thanking the international community for its help so far.

A magnitude 5.4 aftershock Monday afternoon damaged the only road leading out of Qingchuan, a town near the epicenter, and repairs were under way, Xinhua reported. There were no known casualties from the tremor.

The military was still struggling to reach areas cut off by the earthquake, with more than 10,000 discovered stranded in Yinxiu valley near the epicenter, China National Radio said Monday. There was no information on casualties there, and 600 soldiers were hiking into the area.

During three days of national mourning ordered by the government, flags were to fly at half-staff and public entertainment was canceled the first time China has held a period of mourning for something other than the death of a leader.

It was the most extensive mourning period the government has ordered since the death 11 years ago of communist patriarch Deng Xiaoping, the architect of the free-market reforms that have brought many Chinese from poverty to moderate prosperity in a generation.

Rescuers also briefly halted work in the disaster zone, where the hunt for survivors turned glum despite remarkable survival tales among thousands buried. Two women were rescued Monday after being trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building at a coal mine in Sichuan, Xinhua reported.

A convoy of police cars, ambulances and other rescue vehicles let off a long blast from their horns as the workers in orange jumpsuits stood quietly with eyes downcast, some removing their white hardhats.

"Our hearts are so heavy, so many of our compatriots are dead," said rescuer Ma Tang Chuan. "As long as we try out best, we have some small hope."

Volunteers at Wangfujing shopping street handed out white ribbons reading, "lovingly remember," before hundreds of shopkeepers spilled into the street. The period of silence started early and ended up stretching past the three-minute mark, before it was broken by a burst of sound from a construction site next door.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and other top Communist Party leaders were shown on state TV bowing their heads, white flowers pinned to the lapels of their dark suits. Hu had spent three days touring the worst-hit areas of Sichuan.

The moment of tribute also was marked in Hong Kong, where double-decker buses sounded their horns. Rides and performances were halted for three minutes at Hong Kong Disneyland, and the daily fireworks show was canceled.

The government order for the mourning period said all Internet entertainment and game sites had to be taken off-line and users redirected to sites dedicated to commemorating earthquake victims, the Chinese news Web portal Sina.com said.

China's National Grand Theater will cancel or postpone all performances during the three days, and media reports said numerous bars, nightclubs, karaoke parlors and movie theaters had shut down beginning at midnight in major cities such as Beijing, Shenyang and Changsha.

Newspapers across China printed their logos in black and some ran entirely without color. Several front pages were covered in black, with simple messages in white text across the middle: "The nation mourns," "Pray for life," and "National tragedy."

The mourning period begins as hope of finding more trapped survivors dwindled, and preventing hunger and disease among the homeless became more pressing.

At the epicenter in Wenchuan, life appeared to slowly return to normal Monday with shops and a bank open. Residents carting luggage waited in lines for buses to seek refuge elsewhere.

"What shall I do in the future?" asked Su Weiqun, 58, whose husband was killed in the quake. "All the things we have after years of hard work were all destroyed."

In a sign the search for survivors was concluding, Japan said it was considering withdrawing rescue crews to be replaced with an expanded medical team to treat survivors because of declining opportunities to use their technology to hunt for trapped victims.

"At this point, chances we can make use of our technology are very limited. It's time to think about what to do with our rescue operation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told reporters, according to Japan's Kyodo News agency.

"There is definitely a need for medical experts, and we can dispatch a team whenever there is a request," he said.

In Dujiangyan, three local government officials were removed from their posts for dereliction of duty over the earthquake the first officials punished, Xinhua reported. One of the officials was reprimanded for miscounting casualty figures, while the others were punished for failing to come to work.

The Communist Party's discipline committee had instructed all officials to "stand at the front line" of the disaster and vowed to deal harshly with those who did not, the agency said.

___

Associated Press writers Audra Ang in Beichuan, and Cara Anna, Anita Chang and Henry Sanderson in Beijing contributed to this report.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:48 AM   #2
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Quick , put some antifreeze in their toothpaste!!!
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
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Quick , put some antifreeze in their toothpaste!!!
And poison in their dog food!
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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Teehee national tragedy humor lolz
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:52 AM   #7
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Teehee national tragedy humor lolz
**** 'em.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:39 PM   #8
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**** 'em.
Why would you say that? Seriously curious.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:42 PM   #9
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Unbelievable.
Some of you guys...
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:49 PM   #10
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Unbelievable.
Some of you guys...
Which guys? The idiots that are making light of a HUGE tragedy, or us idiots that think they are idiots?
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:53 PM   #11
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Which guys? The idiots that are making light of a HUGE tragedy, or us idiots that think they are idiots?
.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:54 PM   #12
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I care as much about this as I would if it happened to Germany in 1939.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:58 PM   #13
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I care as much about this as I would if it happened to Germany in 1939.
Why?
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:59 PM   #14
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I care as much about this as I would if it happened to Germany in 1939.
If you were my 10 year old child, I would try to teach you about compassion.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:06 PM   #15
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If you were my 10 year old child, I would try to teach you about compassion.
That's a really meaningful point. I'm glad you shared it. Any more irrelevant non-sequiturs?

Last edited by Brock; 05-19-2008 at 06:19 PM..
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