Russian rescuers search for survivors, bodies in Sendai

Russian rescuers are searching for survivors and bodies in the Japanese city of Sendai, most damaged by an earthquake and tsunami that hit the country last week, the head of the rescue group, Andrei Legoshin, said on Monday.

“The search is ongoing, there are some difficulties there,” Legoshin said adding that centralized meetings are also ongoing.

Russian rescuers are working in the area near the city’s airport, as Japanese authorities defined, Legoshin said.

An 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit Japan on Friday, claiming thousands of lives. A series of blasts that ripped through the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant have raised fears of a nuclear disaster.

Earlier it was reported the earthquake registered 8.9 on the Richter Scale, however on Tuesday the U.S. Geological Survey Service upgraded its intensity.

Japanese police said Tuesday that over 6,000 people are dead or missing after the disaster.

There are currently 79 Russian rescuers, who have brought rescue vehicles and other equipment.

Legoshin earlier said he hoped the group would be able to find people trapped under the rubble, adding that the next “4-5 days” were critical.

MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti)

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