Chinese Rescuers Continue Relief Work in Japan Quake Zone
    2011-03-15 10:50:08     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang

The Chinese international search and rescue team continued their relief work Tuesday in Oofunato, Iwate, which was devastated by last Friday's 9-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.

The Chinese rescuers started their second day of work at 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday (2200 GMT Monday). Bringing along with their equipments, the rescuers went through to some of the ruined areas in Oofunato and conducted door-to-door search, trying their best to look for survivors.

A body was found in one of the badly damaged houses in less than 30 minutes since the search begun.

The Chinese team, comprising 15 members, arrived in Oofunato Sunday night, and was the first overseas team to join and help out the relief work in the city.

Rescue teams from the United States and Britain will also be joining the local and Chinese rescuers to carry out relief work in the area, the municipal government said.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Japanese Ambassador to China Niwa Unichiro in Beijing to offer continued support for Japan's disaster relief work.

Yang said the Chinese government and leaders are paying close attention to the earthquake disaster in Japan and have conveyed their condolences to the Japanese leaders.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday offered condolences to Japanese Emperor Akihito over the massive earthquake and pledged further help.

In a message, Hu mourned the dead and extended condolences to the Japanese emperor.

Hu also expressed the hope that Japanese people could overcome difficulties and rebuild their homes as soon as possible, adding that the Chinese government and people stand ready to offer necessary help.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed condolences and solicitudes to Japan on Monday and said China is willing to offer more help when needed.

"I would like to express my deep condolences to victims in this unprecedented earthquake and extend sincere solicitudes to all the Japanese people," Wen said at a press conference in Beijing. "China is also an earthquake-prone country, so we understand the hardship that Japan experiences now."

Foreign Minister Yang told Ambassador Unichiro that Chinese people from all walks of life have expressed their condolences to the Japanese people in various forms and are lending them a helping hand.

China is willing to enhance cooperation with Japan on quake relief work and post-disaster reconstruction, he said, noting China believes that Japan would, as always, provide assistance to the affected Chinese nationals in Japan.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday that China will provide 30 million yuan (4.58 million dollars) worth of emergency humanitarian assistance to Japan.

A chartered plane carrying the first batch of relief goods China committed to Japan's earthquake rescue operations arrived in Japan on Monday evening.

The relief package is composed of 2,000 blankets, 900 cotton tents and 200 emergency lights, and valued at 7.2 million yuan (1.1 million U.S. dollars), according to Yang Hongbin, a Shanghai-based official with the Ministry of Commerce.

China's Red Cross Society decided Tuesday to donate another 5 million yuan (around 757,600 U.S. dollars) in emergency aid to its Japanese counterpart. The society donated 1 million yuan to Japan on Saturday.

The catastrophic earthquake hitting northeastern Japan triggered a severe tsunami, causing extensive damage and loss in many areas including Oofunato. According to the local government, as of 10 a.m. Tuesday (0100 GMT), a total of 206 people from the region were confirmed dead with 191 others missing.

Japan's National Police Agency said that the great quake and ensuing tsunami have claimed 2,414 lives and left 3,118 others missing nationwide by 8:00 a.m. Tuesday (2300 GMT Monday).


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