MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov sent a telegram to China's Minister of Civil Affairs Huang Shuxian, in which he expressed condolences and offered assistance of Russian rescuers.
"Vladimir Puchkov noted that in accordance with the agreement between the Russian government and the government of the People's Republic of China on cooperation in preventing and eliminating emergency situations, Russia's Emergencies Ministry is ready, if necessary, to provide assistance in elimination of the consequences of the disaster," the statement said.
It was earlier reported that the quake claimed lives of 19 people and injured 247 others. The Chinese Central Television (CCTV) specified that 40 people remain in critical condition.
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Sichuan province on Tuesday. Tremors were registered in the Jiuzhaigou district of the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. Shortly thereafter, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre registered another powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the same province.
Sichuan is an earthquake-prone region. In 2008, the 8.0 magnitude Great Sichuan earthquake took some 70,000 lives and left millions homeless.