A Russian counselor and a Chinese girl hug at the "Ocean" All-Russia Children's Center, Russia, Aug. 4.
A total of 304 students from southwest China's quake-hit Sichuan Province were flown back home on Tuesday after finishing a convalescent holiday in Russia.
The students, who were from the worst-hit quake zones in Sichuan, including Mianzhu and Beichuan, spent a three-week holiday in Vladivostok of Russia.
They were shuttled back in three chartered flights operated by Air China and the last flight touched down at 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday, said a source from Shuangliu international Airport in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.
A devastating earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale hit China's southwest on May 12. The death toll from the quake in Sichuan Province and its neighboring regions stood at 69,207 as of Monday noon. The number of people listed as missing and injured stood at 18,194 and 374,468, respectively.
During his visit to China in May, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev invited students from quake-hit areas to spend some time in his country for rehabilitation. Under the plan, a total of 1,570 Chinese children will visit Russia between 2008 and 2009.
Since July 17, some 1,000 Chinese students had arrived in Russia for rehabilitation programs.
(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2008)