S. Korean Rescue Workers Begin Search Operations in Quake-Hit Japan
    2011-03-15 10:33:31     Xinhua      Web Editor: Gong
 

A team of South Korean rescue workers on Tuesday began search and rescue operations in a Japanese town devastated by Friday's 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami, the foreign ministry in Seoul said.

Of 107 South Korean rescuers dispatched to the neighboring country, 90 joined Japanese police officers in the early morning for operations at a badly damaged Sendai district, marking the first search and rescue effort in the ravaged district, according to the ministry.

A team of 102 relief workers arrived in Japan a day ago to join five others dispatched Saturday as the first foreign help to have landed in the quake-hit Japan.

The first death of a South Korean national was confirmed Monday. The government here estimates some 910,000 South Koreans reside in Japan, with 10,000 of them near the city of Sendai, the closest major city to the epicenter.

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

A total of 1,254 deaths have been firmed in Miyagi Prefecture, said the police agency. Miyagi has thus become the first prefecture where the number of confirmed deaths has topped 1,000.

Figures from police in various areas showed that more than 6, 000 have died or still remained unaccounted for following Friday's disaster.

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