Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have sent messages of condolences to Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal, killing almost 1,900 people.
“On behalf of the Chinese government and people Xi offered his deep condolences to the victims in the powerful earthquake, and offered sincere sympathies to those injured and families of the victims,” Xinhua quoted an official statement.
Xi also “expressed his confidence in the Nepalese government, under the leadership of Yadav, to combat the disaster and China’s willingness to provide all necessary assistance”.
A 62-member China International Search Rescue Team has landed in Nepal on Sunday morning for humanitarian rescue.
With rescue and medical equipment and sniffer dogs, the team arrived in Kathmandu on a chartered plane, according to the China Earthquake Administration.
“Nepal has sent a formal request to China asking for help with rescue and relief effort,” Nepali Information Minister Minendra Rijal said on Saturday.
The Chinese rescue team members have participated in domestic or international missions in dozens of serious earthquakes, including the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan in 2008 and those in Japan, Haiti and Pakistan, said Zhao Ming, chief of the team.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed. Nepali people will always remember the support and help from China,” said Mahesh Kumar Maskey, Nepali Ambassador to China.
In Tibet, Chinese officials said the quake left 17 dead, many critically injured, houses collapsed or ruptured, roads damaged, and telecommunication blocked in some regions.
Indian officials said the quake, with its epicenter in Nepal, has killed 51 people in India.
China has initiated an emergency humanitarian aid plan to quake-hit Nepal, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said late Saturday in a brief statement. Although the details of the amount of aid will be disclosed later, said officials.
The US has pledged an initial $1 million in humanitarian assistance.
Reports showed some 1900 people have been killed in the powerful earthquake and the death toll is expected to rise further. Some 5,000 people were also injured.
683 Chinese tourists were stranded in Nepal following the quake and the closure of the international airport in Nepal, said Chinese tourism authorities.
The BRICS Post and Agencies