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19 May, 2008 15:02

China mourns earthquake victims

While rescue and emergency efforts are continuing in China's Sichuan province, the country has begun three days of mourning for its quake victims. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s military leaders have announced 72 hours of mourning for those who perished in a deadly

Last week's powerful earthquake in China left at least 34,000 dead.

At 06:28 GMT on Monday – the exact moment the quake struck last week – a minute’s silence was held nationwide.

Trade at China's stock and commodities exchanges in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhengzhou and Dalian were suspended.

Thousands gathered for a candlelit vigil in Chengdu – the capital of the Sichuan province – in honour of the dead.

Flags in Tianamen Square in Beijing flew at half-mast and the Olympic torch relay was suspended.

China has allowed foreign aid workers into the country. They have joined a massive effort to rescue those buried and to treat the injured as well as to help feed and shelter survivors.

Russia's Emergency Ministry is sending two more planes with humanitarian aid and a flying hospital will be to the region soon. Moscow has already sent 120 tonnes of aid.

On Saturday, a Russian rescue team pulled a woman buried for more than five days alive from the rubble.

However, a week after the quake, the chances of finding others are diminishing.

Myanmar to accept international aid

Following China, Myanmar’s military government has declared three days of mourning for the victims of Cyclone Nargis.

The disaster hit the country on May 2 and has claimed at least 78,000 lives.

Meanwhile, at an emergency meeting of ASEAN in Singapore, Myanmar said it will open its doors to international medical workers from all the members.