Russia to send additional rescuers to quake-hit Japan

Russia will send an additional team of rescuers to Japan, stricken by the devastating earthquake and tsunami, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Emergencies Ministry, Irina Andrianova said on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday Andrianova said that Japan had agreed to accept a team of 50 Russian rescuers to join the search for survivors of Japan’s disaster. They will leave for Japan at 6 p.m. Moscow time (15:00 GMT) from Ramenskoye airfield in Moscow region.

“A Mi-26 helicopter of the Russian Emergencies Ministry is preparing to fly to Japan from the city of Khabarovsk [in Russia’s Far East] at 6 p.m. Moscow time,” Andrianova said, adding that the second team includes 25 rescuers and a rescue vehicle.

If Japan asks for additional help, Russia will send more Emergencies Ministry’s forces, along with the two rescue teams, the Emergencies Minister, Sergei Shoigu said during a telephone conversation with the President Dmitry Medvedev.

The 9.0 – magnitude tremor, which struck the Japan’s northeast, was the most powerful ever recorded in the country. It triggered a 10-meter tsunami wave that swept away people, houses and cars.

The death toll from the disaster may climb to over 10,000 people in the Miyagi prefecture alone, local police chief Naoto Takeuchi said on Sunday.

MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) 


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