Russian rescuers return from quake-hit Japan

The first group of 50 Russian rescuers involved in search efforts in quake- and tsunami-struck Japan has returned to Russia, an Emergencies Ministry Far East spokesman said on Tuesday.

More than 160 Russian rescuers were working in Japan, tackling the consequences of the 9.0 – magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit the country on March 11.The disasters triggered a number of explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The tremor knocked out cooling systems at several reactors, leading to a partial meltdown of fuel rods inside them and raising fears of massive nuclear contamination.

“The rescuers are returning to Khabarovsk [Russia’s Far East] because they have completely accomplished their tasks in Japan,” the spokesman said, adding that as the situation was getting better, the rescuers were returning.

Russian teams worked in the worst damaged Japanese cities of Sendai and Niigata.

The official death toll from the disaster has risen to 9,000, with more than 12,000 people missing, Kyodo reported earlier on Tuesday.

MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti)


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