A Russian emergencies ministry’s plane carrying the first load of humanitarian aid to quake-stricken Japan took off from an airfield near Moscow late Tuesday.
“An Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane with 17 metric tons of humanitarian cargo took off at 23.50 Moscow time [20:50 GMT] from an airfield in Ramenskoye,” the ministry said.
Russia is sending a total of 10,000 blankets and 10,000 mattresses requested by the Japanese side following a series of natural disasters that struck Japan last week.
Large parts of eastern Japan were left devastated after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast on Friday, sparking a powerful tsunami. It was followed by aftershocks that have since caused blasts at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the country’s east, raising fears of a nuclear meltdown.
Over 10,000 people are reported dead or missing in Japan following the disasters. A death toll of over 3,000 has so far been confirmed.
A group of 80 Russian rescuers are already working in the city of Sendai.
MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti)