Yunnan pays tribute to earthquake victims

Updated: 2014-08-11 06:55

By Xinhua in Ludian, Yunnan (China Daily)

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A memorial service was held on Sunday in Ludian county, Yunnan province, for the victims of the magnitude-6.5 earthquake that rocked the area a week ago.

At 10 am, locals and rescuers stood in silence to mourn the 617 people killed in the quake that struck Ludian on Aug 3. Some presented white and yellow chrysanthemums to pay tribute to the deceased. Another 112 people are still missing.

While people gathered in public spaces for three minutes of silence, drivers sounded their car horns.

"I am expecting those who lost their loved ones to survive," 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 in honor of the victims. 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.

"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.

A headquarters dedicated to the barrier lake said opening the 8-meter-deep canal through the blockage should happen before Tuesday.

According to the provincial weather station, heavy rains will pound the quake zone over the next three days, likely causing landslides in areas above the barrier lake.

Ma Yonggui, an ethnic Hui villager, has called on 33 households of Hui minority people over the past week to set up a canteen serving halal food - that which adheres to the dietary requirements of Islamic law - to villagers and rescuers.

"There is no fixed dining time, and we serve warm meals to anyone who comes at anytime," Ma said.

 Yunnan pays tribute to earthquake victims

Children at a temporary home in Ludian county, Yunnan province, take part in a memorial service on Sunday for people killed in the magnitude-6.5 earthquake on Aug 3. Zhang Wei / for China Daily