Russia ready to offer assistance to Japan: Medvedev

12:31, March 12, 2011      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the Emergencies Ministry to submit suggestions on offering assistance to the quake-hit Japan, local reports said on Friday.

"We are certainly ready to help our neighbors to deal with the consequences of this great earthquake," Medvedev said in a meeting in Russian republic of Khakassia.

The president also stressed Russia would take all necessary measures to prevent possible damages and casualties in the Southern Kuril Islands, which are also claimed by Japan as its Northern Territories, near the epicenter of the great quake.

Earlier in the day, Japan's meteorological agency measured an earthquake at 8.9 magnitude and "major damage" has been reported, according to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The offshore quake triggered a tsunami that hit Japan's northeastern coast, sweeping away buildings and cars and leaving many missing, according to the Japanese government's top spokesman, Yukio Edano.

Russia's Sakhalin AHEM Tsunami Research Center has issued a tsunami alert in the Sakhalin region in Russia's Far East shortly after the massive quake.

According to Russian local emergencies services, the evacuation of some 11,000 people from coastal areas of three districts of the Sakhalin region, namely Yuzhno-Kuril, Kuril and Northern Kuril, is underway.

Source: Xinhua

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