April 20, 2010 in Nation/World

China to honor earthquake victims

Anita Chang Associated Press
 

BEIJING – China announced a national day of mourning to be held Wednesday for victims of a devastating quake in a remote Tibetan region, as the death toll rose above 2,000.

National flags will fly at half-staff across the country and at its embassies and consulates overseas, marking one week since the magnitude-6.9 temblor hit, China’s Cabinet announced today. All public entertainment will be suspended as well.

Chinese officials said the death toll in remote Yushu county in western Qinghai province, high on the Tibetan plateau, rose to 2,039, while more than 12,000 people were hurt. Another 200 people remain missing.

Relief efforts could be hindered by rain that was expected today on the high-altitude region. Sleet, wind, and light snow are forecast for the next three days, said Guo Yinxiang, spokeswoman for the Qinghai Meteorological Bureau.

Three people were rescued Monday, including a 4-year-old girl and an elderly woman who survived under the rubble for almost a week in China because relatives used bamboo poles to push water and rice to them until rescuers pulled them out.

The rescue of Wujian Cuomao, 68, and Cairen Baji, 4, from a crumbled home in a village about 13 miles from the hardest-hit town of Jiegu was hailed by state media as a miracle and repeatedly played on television news broadcasts.

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