BEIJING, April 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russia offered on Saturday to help China in dealing with the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that reportedly killed at least 70 and injured hundreds of people.
President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Saturday over the deadly disaster and assured that Russia is ready to “provide assistance” with the aftermath of the quake, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The quake - measured by China's seismological bureau at magnitude 7.0 and the U.S. Geological Survey at 6.6 – hit China's Sichuan province Saturday leaving some 600 injured. According to the official Xinhua News Agency at least 70 people died, but the death toll is expected to rise.
Over 2,000 soldiers rushed to the quake-hit area for rescue and relief work, Xinhua news agency quoted military sources as saying. The area is reportedly cut off the power and water supplies.
The area lies near the same location in China where the devastating quake struck in 2008, leaving more than 90,000 people dead or missing.
(Updates the original story with new death toll, the Kremlin's statement)