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April 26, 2010

Yushu Earthquake, 12 days later

Wednesday, April 21st was a national day of mourning in China, for victims of the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck remote Yushu County on April 14th, 2010 with over 2,200 confirmed dead and many thousands injured or homeless. The response on the ground has moved from search and rescue to recovery and care, hampered by geography and weather. The political response is also complex, as official Chinese coverage has emphasized solidarity in crisis despite a long-troubled relationship with the ethnic Tibetan residents. Buddhist monks who had been assisting with relief efforts were asked by Chinese authorities to halt their work last week, some monks complaining it was for political motives, officials claiming it was for safety reasons. The bodies of hundreds of victims were cremated on April 17th, necessity forcing local Tibetans to break with a tradition of leaving their dead out for vultures. (33 photos total)

A Tibetan monk gestures as other monks lay corpses for a mass cremation of earthquake victims in the town of Gyegu in Yushu County, Qinghai province, China on April 17, 2010. (REUTERS/Alfred Jin)

Ethnic Tibetans search for belongings amid the debris of collapsed houses in the earthquake-hit town of Gyegu, China on April 16, 2010. (REUTERS/Carlf Zhang) #

An overview of the earthquake-hit township of Gyegu in China's northwestern province of Qinghai on April 19, 2010. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tibetan monks attend a mass prayer for earthquake victims in the quake-hit Gyegu town on April 22, 2010. (REUTERS/Kevin Zhao) #

A man carries his son as they make their way back to their tent at a makeshift camp during a snowfall in Gyegu, Yushu county, China on April 22, 2010. Fierce winds and heavy snow hit China's quake zone, state media said, complicating relief work and bringing more misery to survivors camped outside after their homes collapsed. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

Buddha statues are wrapped up after they were salvaged from a destroyed Tibetan monastery in Gyegu, China on April 20, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

Ethnic Tibetans injured in Wednesday's earthquake rest on a plane bound for medical facilities in Xining, at the airport in Gyegu town, China, Saturday, April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) #

Ethnic Tibetans queue to receive supplementary materials at the earthquake-hit Gyegu town of Yushu County, Qinghai province on April 22, 2010. (REUTERS/Kevin Zhao) #

Four-year-old girl Cairen Baji is carried by a rescue worker after she and an elderly woman were dug out from a collapsed mud house near Gyegu town on Monday, April 19, 2010. Relatives had kept Wujian Cuomao, 68, and Cairen Baji alive for five days by sending them food and water through gaps in the rubble with the help of bamboo poles, state broadcaster CCTV said. (AP Photo) #

Children mourn for victims of the April 14 Yushu County, Qinghai province earthquake, during a photo opportunity at a kindergarten in Jinan, Shandong province, April 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

People use a generator to charge their mobile phones after a blackout in Yushu County, China on Saturday, April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

Rescuers work to remove dead horses buried under a collapsed stable in Yushu County, China on April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

A young quake survivor uses a mobile phone in an attempt to reach relatives in Gyegu, Yushu County, on April 18, 2010. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A medical staff member disinfects religious figurines at a destroyed monastery in earthquake-hit Yushu County April 19, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

The Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, speaks during a press conference in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, April 17, 2010. The Dalai Lama said Saturday that he would like to visit western China's quake-hit Yushu county, which is overwhelmingly Tibetan. He also said that he was born in Qinghai province where the earthquake was centered. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia) #

A sick woman is helped by her relatives as the walk towards a temporary clinic set up to up quake victims in Gyegu on April 17, 2010. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tibetan monks walk past destroyed houses in Gyegu town on April 19, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Chinese President Hu Jintao, (center right, facing left), is greeted upon his arrival in a temporary hospital at Gyegu town on Sunday, April 18, 2010. Hu flew to the remote, mountainous Tibetan region devastated by an earthquake as the flow of rescue supplies picked up pace. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

Rescuers stop work and observe three minutes of silence at 10:00 am (0200 GMT), in silent tribute to the quake victims, in Gyegu, China on April 21, 2010. China observed a day of national mourning for victims of its killer quake, with newspaper front pages bathed in black and flags lowered to half-mast around the country. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

People sift through earthquake devastation in Gyegu, China on April 17, 2010. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Children huddle together as they take shelter from strong winds in the quake-hit Gyegu town on Monday April 19, 2010. (AP Photo) #

Locals take bottled water provided by a monastery in quake-hit Gyegu town on April 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Tibetans attend a mass prayer for the earthquake victims in the quake-hit Gyegu town on April 19, 2010. (REUTERS/Kevin Zhao) #

Tibetan monks throw a body onto a large pile of bodies of earthquake victims, in preparation for a mass cremation in Yushu County, on Saturday, April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

Tibetan residents sit on a hillside to observe a mass cremation of victims of the massive earthquake in Yushu County on April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

A Tibetan cries during a mass cremation of victims of the recent earthquake in Yushu County, China on April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

Praying Tibetan monks seen through flames, distorted by the heat shimmer above the mass cremation of victims of the earthquake in Yushu County on April 17, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A Tibetan monk conducts a ceremony at the site of a mass cremation in the town of Gyegu on April 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Alfred Jin) #

People inspect earthquake damaged buildings in Gyegu, on April 17, 2010. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A young Buddhist monk makes a face while he cooks food for quake survivors at Gyegu town in west China's Qinghai province on April 17, 2010. (AP Photo) #

Tibetan children sit inside their temporary makeshift school as they wait for their class to start in Yushu county, China on Monday, April 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

Asian artists including Hong Kong movie star Sammo Hung, Andy Lau and Jackie Chan perform during a charity show "Artistes 414 Fundraising Campaign" for the victims of the earthquake in Yushu county in northwest China's Qinghai province, in Hong Kong Monday, April 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) #

A girl rests on a couch amid ruins in Gyegu town, China on April 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

 
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