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Earthquake Anniversary is Thanksgiving Day
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Over 150 Tangshan natives working in Beijing crowded the city's Red Cross Blood Center for a blood-donation initiative on Saturday, 31 years after the devastating Tangshan earthquake.

They were echoing an appeal to give thanks to the help from the Chinese capital during and after the 1976 earthquake.

Although only 26 participants were qualified to donate blood, senior officials from the blood center gave high praise to all comers.

Participants are planning to make it an annual event.

The blood-donation drive was initiated by Guo Zongwei, a Tangshan native soldier in Beijing. His online post earlier this month received hundreds of responses, most of who were born after the earthquake.

Tangshan City, about 150 kilometers from Beijing, was stricken by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale in the early morning of July 28, 1976.

The disaster, reportedly one of the largest earthquakes to hit the modern world, killed more than 242,000 people, severely injuring at least 164,000.

It also left thousands of orphans, many of who were later adopted by families in other Chinese cities, including Beijing.

(CRIENGLISH.com July 30, 2007)

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