Related News

Home » Metro

Expo grieves for Gansu

PEOPLE crowded the Gansu Pavilion at the World Expo yesterday to pay their respects to the victims of the August 8 mudslide in the province.

At 10am, people in the pavilion, wearing small plastic white flowers, observed three minutes of silence. They then removed the flowers and put them on a glass table under a map of Gansu, on which Zhouqu, where the disaster struck, was highlighted.

Du Jingli, 50, from Gansu, placed her flower on the table and gazed at the map. "I don't know what to say, I just feel sad," she said.

Du had planned to visit the China Pavilion first, but changed her mind when she learned about the tribute.

The pavilion was dark as most of its lights were turned off. Only a few were used to illuminate a banner saying "Deep Condolences to People Killed in the Zhouqu Mudslide." It was written in large black Chinese characters and hung in the pavilion's main exhibition room.

"Let's remember the lost lives, put aside the pain and join hands in rebuilding Zhouqu," Li Shumin, deputy head of the pavilion, said after the ceremony.

Mourning events were also held outside the Gansu Pavilion. In the Pavilion of Public Participation, people gathered to fold paper cranes, a traditional symbol of good wishes, to pay tribute to the lives lost in the disaster.

"I hope that the victims can rest in peace and the survivors can be stronger," said visitor Zhao Xing.

The Expo Bureau halted all entertainment activities on the grounds yesterday.

The Gansu Pavilion will not hold any entertainment activities until September, spokesman Wang Shigang said.

The pavilions for Italy, United Kingdom, France, Romania and Croatia, among others, lowered flags to commemorate the victims.

Workers at the Pavilion of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies gave visitors red bracelets.

Visitors could also write messages for people in Zhouqu in a book near a donation box. Both their words and donations would be sent to the Red Cross Society of Shanghai, Wang said.

"Although my family is not in Zhouqu, I'm still worried about them," said a visitor surnamed Wang, a native of Gansu who works in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

A student volunteer at the China Pavilion, Yang Yaoci, 20, lost seven relatives back in his hometown in Zhouqu County.

An ethnic Tibetan and a junior student, Yang started working at the Expo with 1,160 other volunteers from the Shanghai Institute of Electric Power on August 9.

Yang declined to talk yesterday.

Last week he said he had wanted to return home after learning of the tragedy, but his father convinced him there was nothing he could do.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend