Japanese Red Cross deploys 62 teams for quake relief

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The Japanese Red Cross has sent 62 emergency teams to rescue victims of one of the most violent earthquakes in recorded history, the IFRC said Saturday.

Around 400 doctors, nurses and other experts have been deployed to help victims of the disaster using mobile clinics, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement.

Friday's massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami left more than 1,000 dead and at least 10,000 missing.

More than 300,000 people fled their homes before the tsunami made landfall and took shelter in schools and other public buildings where the Red Cross has distributed more than 30,000 blankets, the statement said.

An explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant "resulted in serious concerns," the statement said, adding that a 20-kilometre (12-mile) exclusion zone has been established around the plant.

"The Japanese Red Cross Society remains prepared to support those evacuated from this exclusion zone, and continues to closely monitor the situation as it develops," the statement said.

Tadateru Konoe, president of both the Japanese Red Cross Society and the IFRC, will travel to affected regions on Sunday and offer support to the Red Cross teams.

"It will be an opportunity to see how the disaster management volunteers, whom the Japanese Red Cross has diligently trained over the past decade, are able to put their training into practice by assisting affected people," Konoe said.

© 2011 AFP

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