More Chinese evacuated from Japan's worst-hit areas

14:35, March 18, 2011      

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A Chinese man waits for evacuation at Narita airoprt in Tokyo, Japan, March 17, 2011. (Xinhua/Huang Xiaoyong)

China on Friday continued to withdraw its nationals from the worst ravaged areas in Japan amid fears of nuclear leaks after a devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

A total of 6,000 Chinese nationals have already been evacuated from Japan's worst-hit areas by 17:00 p.m. local time (0800 GMT) Thursday, Chinese diplomats said.

Among them, 1,400 were evacuated to Tokyo and 4,500 to Niigata, according to figures released by the Chinese embassy in Japan.

The Chinese General Consulate in Niigata said that, with the help of the local government, they had managed to set up three settlements and provided life necessities for the Chinese evacuated from Japan's stricken northeast.

Meanwhile, China's domestic airlines planned to send six to eight additional flights to Niigata to bring back nationals.

The embassy estimated that some 1,200 Chinese citizens in Niigata would return to China by late Thursday. Meanwhile, another group of Chinese citizens were expected to fly back home from Tokyo.

So far, at least 6,405 people had been confirmed dead in last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, with 10,259 others still missing in Japan, according to the National Police Agency.

One Chinese national had been confirmed dead in Japan following the quake, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said at a regular press briefing Thursday.

"The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan are making every effort to evacuate Chinese citizens from hard-hit areas after the earthquake," Jiang said.

"Relevant information will be released and updated in time on the website of the Chinese embassy in Tokyo," she said.

The Chinese victim died in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture, when the quake-triggered tsunami hit the area, the embassy said earlier.

The embassy and consulates are working to withdraw Chinese citizens in an orderly way, said the spokesperson.

Airlines are also revising schedules and increasing flight frequency to meet evacuation needs, Jiang added.

While evacuating its citizens from northeast Japan, the Chinese government continues providing aid to the quake-ravaged country.

"At the request of the Japanese government, the Chinese government decided to provide 10,000 tons of gasoline and 10,000 tons of diesel as urgent and gratuitous aid, which have arrived in Japan recently," Jiang said Thursday.

This was the latest batch of aid the Chinese government has offered to Japan after providing 30 million yuan (4.5 million U.S. dollars), Jiang added.

Some local governments and non-governmental organizations in China have also extended their condolences and provided different amounts of economic aid.

China also shipped 10 tons of bottled drinking water to Japan's earthquake-hit areas in its latest round of relief donations.

A 15-member Chinese rescue team arrived in Japan on Sunday.

China's first relief package -- 2,000 blankets, 900 cotton tents and 200 emergency lights -- was delivered earlier this week.

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Source: Xinhua
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