Taiwanese rescue team rushes to Sendai City


TOKYO–A 28-member search and rescue team from Taiwan set off from Tokyo yesterday for Sendai City, one of the areas along Japan’s northeastern coast that were hardest hit by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami last Friday.

Team leader Huang Po-tsun, who is deputy chief of the Special Search and Rescue Team of the National Fire Agency, said they would put everything into the task in Japan.

He estimated that the trip from Tokyo to Sendai would take about five hours, if all went well.

The rescue team, comprising search and rescue experts from the National Fire Agency and the Taipei, New Taipei and Tainan city governments, flew to Tokyo the previous day with four metric tons of equipment and supplies.

Huang said all of the team members had experience in overseas rescue operations, including a recent mission in Christchurch, New Zealand after a magnitude-6.3 earthquake there last month.

As of Tuesday, Japan had confirmed 2,478 deaths and reported more than 10,000 people missing after one of the worst earthquakes in its history.