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Chinese Quake Rescue Team Arrives in Banda Aceh

A 35-member Chinese rescue team arrived late Friday in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh that was devastated when an offshore earthquake triggered massive tsunamis on Sunday.


The team arrived in Medan, capital of North Sumatra early Friday, and rushed to the worst-hit Aceh Province later in the day.


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced on Friday that his country will offer an additional 500 million yuan (60.46 million US dollars) in humanitarian aid to the earthquake- and tsunami-hit countries.


Shortly after the catastrophe, the Chinese government offered 21.63 million yuan (2.62 million dollars) in aid for the tsunami-hit countries.


Indonesia is the country worst affected by Sunday's huge earthquake off its western Sumatra island and the tidal waves it spawned, accounting for more than two-thirds of the dead.


Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said Friday her officials had stopped trying to count the dead and would from now on give only general casualty estimates since the death toll was too large to provide an exact tally, the state Antara news agency said.


The ministry said earlier that the final casualty number would likely reach up to 100,000. Its last confirmed figure was 79,940.


(Xinhua News Agency January 2, 2005)


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China Sent Quake Rescue Team to Indonesia
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