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Haitians mourn one month of earthquake

world Updated: Feb 13, 2010 11:36 IST

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Thousands of Haitians gathered at churches and other places to pray for over 200,000 victims killed in last month's earthquake.

Daily activities came to a halt as the government announced Friday the day of mourning to mark one month of the magnitude-7.0 quake that hit the country on Jan 12.

Fedner, a middle-aged man who followed one of the religious ceremonies along with two friends, said that "many people died and the families haven't found the bodies. There are still people under the rubble".

"Up to now there has been no funeral, so today is an important day, a date that we will always remember," he said, adding that many Haitians had no chance to bury family members and loved ones who were dumped in common graves without a decent funeral.

"This ceremony is no substitute for funerals, but it makes us think about how we are living and how we must trust in God," said Fedner's friend Bertrand who lost two brothers and a sister in the quake.

The main ceremony was held at the nursing school of the University of Notre Dame in the capital, which was attended by President Rene Preval and other officials, diplomats and dignitaries.

Funerals were also held in Petit-Goave, Jacmel, Leogane and other towns that witnessed the temblor.

Similar commemorations were held in other cities around the country and in rural areas, where many people followed the ceremonies over radio and loudspeakers.

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