International rescue teams have arrived in quake-hit areas to assist local disaster relief efforts. On Friday, rescue teams from Japan, South Korea, Russia and Singapore arrived in quake-hit Sichuan's provincial capital Chengdu. They then headed to some of the worst-hit areas such as Qingchuan, Shifang and Mianzhu cities to carry out rescue work.
The Russian cargo plane arrived in Chengdu from Siberia on Friday afternoon. On board were 51 rescuers, a mobile first-aid unit and four sniffer dogs. They headed for Mianzhu City.
Earlier, two batches of Russian rescue materials were sent to China. A group of 38 Russian specialists will later arrive in China for further assistance.
The 40-member South Korean rescue team are experienced, having previously performed relief work in quake zones in Cambodia, Turkey and Thailand. Equipped with machines, they will mainly carry out rescue work in Shifang city.
Head of South Korean rescue team said, "We brought some advanced life searching equipment, as well as two sniffer dogs. We, the South Korean central rescue team, owns some unique rescue technology. We hope our technology and experience will help to save more people."
Later on Friday, the 55-member Singaporean rescue team arrived in the quake zone and headed for Shifang city to assist rescue efforts.
A second group of 29 Japanese earthquake rescuers also arrived in Chengdu on Friday afternoon. The first group of Japanese rescuers carried out rescue work in Qingchuan County.
The Japanese rescuers say they still hope to find more survivors.
Head of Japanese rescue team said, "We have a lot of experience. We can find more survivors trapped beneath. We have special machines to dig out the people locked in the ruins."
The first group of 31 well-equipped Japanese rescuers arrived at Qingchuan, 250 kilometers northeast of the epicenter, on Friday afternoon. They were the first foreign rescue team to work in the quake zone.
The 31 rescuers began searching for three people, including a mother and her 10-week-old baby, buried in a collapsed building in Qingchuan.
This is the first time China has accepted foreign assistance for disaster relief since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949.
China had expressed gratitude for the willingness and offers from other countries to send relief teams, and for the messages of support and relief aid.
(CCTV May 19, 2008)