India offers all help to quake-hit China (Roundup)

May 13th, 2008 - 11:08 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi/Beijing, May 13 (IANS) India Tuesday offered China “any assistance” to help it deal with the situation in Sichuan province where an earthquake has killed more than 12,000 people as Beijing expressed its willingness to accept international aid to handle relief measures. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao expressing India’s grief with the quake-hit “brethren of China” and offered assistance to deal with the situation.

“The prime minister has expressed deep sorrow at the loss of lives and property caused by the earthquake in China that struck Sichuan province yesterday,” Manmohan Singh’s media advisor Sanjaya Baru said in a statement in New Delhi.

In his letter Manmohan Singh said the people of India share in the grief of their brethren in China and expressed confidence that the resilient people of China will overcome this grievous loss.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told journalists in Beijing that the competent authorities in charge of disaster relief works and civil affairs welcome the aid from international community.

He said China expresses it thanks and welcomes the offer.

Apart from the United Nations, the US, Australia and Japan are among the countries that have offered help to China.

According to Xinhua news agency, the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) said it has received public donations worth more than 120 million yuan ($17 million) for victims in the earthquake-hit areas in southwest China’s Sichuan province.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, relief supplies in both cash and goods worth 14.6 million yuan (about $2 million) were forwarded to the quake-hit areas, RCSC said.

Among the supplies were tents, cotton-padded quilts, food, medicine, and drinking water disinfectants.

RCSC, which has already sent a rescue team Monday evening to survey the situation in the Sichuan province, organised five more disaster relief teams Tuesday. RCSC has also called for donations.

The China Charity Federation announced it would forward 400 tents and 1 million yuan to Sichuan. It also called for public donations.

The China Welfare Lottery Management Centre donated 5 million yuan to Wenchuan county, while the China Disabled Persons’ Federation and China Welfare Fund for the Handicapped jointly donated 3 million yuan for the quake victims.

The Red Cross Society has issued a number of its bank accounts in which donors can deposit cash directly. It has also opened hotline numbers +86-10-65139999 and +86-10-64027620 for consultation during the daytime.

More than 12,000 people were killed in the 7.8-magnitude quake that jolted the southwest province of Sichuan Monday.

The toll is believed to mount further as communications to many areas have not yet been made.

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