More than 45 nations ready to help quake-hit Japan: UN

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The United Nations said Friday that search and rescue teams from more than 45 countries were ready to head to quake and tsunami hit Japan if the Asian state needs help.

"More than 68 teams from more than 45 countries are on standby," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told AFP.

The search and rescue teams mobilised under a UN disaster response network are monitoring the situation and ready to help should Japan request aid, she explained.

"The UN stands ready to help," said Byrs.

Byrs told journalists that OCHA experts were in constant contact with their counterparts at Japan's disaster relief authority.

Hundreds of people were killed on Friday when the strongest earthquake ever to hit Japan and its capital Tokyo also unleashed a terrifying tsunami that slammed into the northeastern city of Sendai and the surrounding area.

© 2011 AFP

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