All the entertainment activities at the Shanghai World Expo site will be suspended Sunday in a show of respect for the victims of a massive mudslide in northwest China's Gansu Province.
The Chinese national flags at the Expo Garden would fly at half-mast, and both the music broadcast at the opening and during the day would be stopped, the Shanghai Expo Bureau announced Saturday.
Sun Weimin, the Expo Bureau's concierge director, said flags of the Bureau of International Expositions and the Shanghai World Expo would also fly at half-mast.
Other Expo participants could decide for themselves whether to fly their flags at half-mast.
The announcement was in line with that of the State Council, China's cabinet, which ordered suspension of all public entertainment and that Chinese flags fly at half-mast Sunday.
The mudslide, which hit Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, on August 8 has killed at least 1,239 people and an estimated 505 are still missing.
According to the Expo Bureau, the Gansu Pavilion will hold a "solemn and simple" ceremony starting 10 a.m. Sunday. The big screen in the pavilion will broadcast pictures and videos of disaster relief in Zhouqu County.
On Saturday night, a performance from Chongqing Municipality will include a tribute to victims of the Aug. 8 mudslide.
Almost 100 performances and cultural activities scheduled for Sunday would be suspended. A performance by the Panama national troupe, scheduled Sunday morning at the Panama Pavilion, would be held on Saturday evening, a pavilion spokesman told Xinhua.
Sunday also marked the National Pavilion Day for Equatorial Guinea. Whether the scheduled celebration to be held was still under discussion, said the Expo Bureau.
Since August 8, volunteers at the Shanghai Expo have put stickers with four Chinese characters "May Heaven Bless Zhouqu" on their uniforms, to call for attention on the mudslide-hit area. On the sticker is a picture of Zhouqu, taken by an Expo volunteer who had just returned from a volunteer teaching program in the county.
Donation boxes in the Pavilion of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have received donations for Zhouqu.
(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2010)