President Ernest Bai Koroma and Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana were present at the Chinese Embassy in Freetown where they paid tribute to the deceased Chinese citizens in the earthquake in Sichuan Province and signed in the book of condolence.
President Koroma wrote, “On behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, I would like to express our heartfelt condolence to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China in this period of tragedy. Our hearts are with yours and our friendly ties are firm and enduring.”
Vice President Sam-Sumana wrote, “we share this moment of grief with you”.
The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and other Chinese diplomatic missions across the world started mourning victims of the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province at 2:28 p.m. Monday Beijing time (0628 GMT) as national flags flew at half-mast, exactly one week after the powerful tremor struck.
In the mourning period, condolence books will be opened in the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassies and consulates around the world.
The Beijing Olympic torch relay will also be suspended.
China on Sunday revised the magnitude of the earthquake which hit Wenchuan County in the country’s southwestern Sichuan province, at 2:28 p.m. May 12 Beijing time to 8.0 from the previous 7.8.
The death toll from the massive quake rose to 41,353 nationwide, while the injured numbered 274,683, according to the emergency response office under the State Council.