China to mourn mudslide victims

Updated: 2010-08-14 07:52
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BEIJING - Chinese flags across the country and at overseas embassies and consulates are to be lowered to half-mast Sunday to mourn the victims of the devastating mudslide in the northwestern Gansu Province, the State Council announced Saturday.

Public entertainment will be suspended Sunday in a show of mourning, said the announcement by the State Council, China's cabinet.

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As of 4 pm Friday, the mudslide, which hit Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southern Gansu, on August 8, had killed 1,156 people and 588 were still missing.

Following the State Council's announcement, the Ministry of Culture issued an urgent circular Saturday to say that public recreational activities, such as movies, karaoke and on-line entertainment like games and music, should be suspended Sunday.

Sunday is the seventh day since the mudslide and, according to some Chinese traditions, the seventh day after a death is the height of the mourning period.

Large-scale national displays of mourning are rare in China.

China had a three-day national mourning period after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and a one-day national mourning period after the Yushu quake on April 21 this year, during which national flags were lowered to half-mast and public entertainment suspended.