China's national flag flies at half-mast after the flag-raising ceremony on Tian'anmen Square in Beijing Monday morning, May 19, 2008. China on Monday begins a three-day national mourning for the tens of thousands of people killed in a powerful earthquake which struck the country's southwest on May 12. [Xinhua]
The State Council, the Cabinet, yesterday ordered flags to be flown at half-mast and all public entertainment suspended for three days as the country begins an official mourning period for victims of the earthquake.
Condolence books will be opened at the Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassies and consulates around the world.
People are asked to stand in silence for three minutes from 2:28 pm today, while automobiles, trains, and ships will sound their horns or sirens.
Also, the Olympic torch relay will be suspended till Wednesday, organizers said.
Meanwhile, the magnitude of last Monday's quake was yesterday revised from 7.8 to 8 by the China Seismological Bureau.
The death toll from the powerful earthquake rose to 32,477 nationwide as of 2 pm yesterday, while the number of injured reached 220,109, according to the emergency response office of the State Council.
Rescuers yesterday pulled out more survivors. A woman worker of the local power plant was rescued last night in Yingxiu town, Sichuan province, 150 hours after the quake. The rescue team spent 56 hours saving Yu Jinhua.
Yesterday afternoon, a 53-year-old man was also rescued in Yingxiu, 148 hours after the tremor. The man, Shen Peiyun, was conscious and was taken to hospital by helicopter.
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In the morning, a man named Tang Xiong was rescued from a collapsed hospital in Beichuan county 139 hours after the quake.
Also in Beichuan, another man was rescued Saturday night from a collapsed building. Wu Jianping was then taken to hospital.