Beijing: China will observe a national
day of mourning on Wednesday in memory of the victims of the
killer quake in the predominantly Tibetan inhabited Qinghai
province, even as the death toll today crossed the 2,000-mark.
Red flags would be flown at half mast and all
entertainment programmes including online games and sports
events would be halted for a national day of mourning tomorrow
to honour more than 2,046 people killed in the massive
earthquake in the Tibetan plateau.
Meanwhile, a hailstorm coupled with snow and rain
hampered relief operations in China's quake hit Qinghai
province as the death toll crossed the 2000 mark with injuries
to over 12,000 of which 1,434 in serious condition.
Heavy snowfall continued in the quake zone in
China's rugged northwestern plateau, halting traffic and
slowing delivery of the badly needed relief supplies.
The area is also jolted a by a 40-minute hailstorm
during which the peanut-sized hails disrupted the disaster
relief efforts for a while, especially the rescue operation in
some areas of Yushu town where hundreds of tents being erected
there came under severe stress during the storm.
Meteorologists warned earlier that tents in the
quake-stricken area should be fitted with lightning rods,
since they were propped up by metal materials, which made them
vulnerable to thunder strikes, Xinhua newsagency reported.
The death toll meanwhile rose to 2,046 with 193 others
missing, according to the rescue headquarters. The quake also
left 12,135 injured, of which 1,434 are in serious condition.
Due to hostile weather conditions roads leading to
the quake-stricken the region witness heavy traffic blocs as
trucks, vans and cars carrying relief supplies were stranded
on the road. Local traffic officials said they would put
slide-proof rugs on the road and use heavy machineries to
break the ice.
Temperatures in Gyegu might fall below freezing in the
coming nights, weather forecasters said.
First Published: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 18:45