China to adjust Olynmpic torch relay in quake-hit areas

May 22nd, 2008 - 4:37 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, May 22 (Xinhua) The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) said Thursday the relay route of the Olympic torch now in China will be adjusted because of the devastating May 12 earthquake in southwestern province of Sichuan. The relay in the quake-hit Sichuan, which was scheduled between June 15 and June 18, has been postponed to Aug 3 and Aug 5 before the torch is taken to Beijing, officials with the BOCOG said.

The relay was suspended during the three days of national mourning May 19-21 for the victims of the earthquake. It resumed in Ningbo city of east China’s Zhejiang province Thursday.

The 8.0-magnitude earthquake, the strongest in decades, has claimed more than 41,000 lives, according to the government estimate.

The BOCOG said in a statement on its website that “the relay will be closely related with the disaster relief work”.

A minute’s silence will be observed before the relay starts at every leg to mourn the victims. Donation boxes will placed along the relay route.

Chinese netizens have proposed that surviving children of the earthquake light the Olympic cauldron, the Beijing News reported, while others countered that it may only add to their grief.

The BOCOG officials said they have yet to decide on who will light the flame at the opening ceremony or whether to mourn the quake dead on the occasion, the report said.

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