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  Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Russia and China are planning to set up a regional disaster
Russia and China are planning to set up a regional disaster management center as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Russian emergencies ministry official said on Friday.

The SCO, a regional bloc comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, primarily addresses security issues, but has recently moved to embrace various economic and social projects.

"We are discussing the possibility of setting up an international disaster management center in the Asia-Pacific region with headquarters in Krasnoyarsk [Russia's Far East]," said Yury Brazhnikov, head of the Emergency Situations Ministry's international cooperation department.

"The prospects for this cooperation are enormous; we need each other," he said.

He also said Russia will continue helping China to cope with the consequences of the May 12 earthquake as the death toll from the disaster rose Friday to over 55,000 people with at least 25,000 still missing.

The quake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, affected eight Chinese provinces, with Sichuan suffering the bulk of the devastation. Around 300,000 people were injured in the quake with millions urgently needing shelter after their homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

"We need more than 3.3 million tents," Qin Gang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday, adding that more that 400,000 tents had already been received.

Seven Russian planes have delivered over 150 tons of humanitarian cargo, rescuers and medics to the provincial center of Chengdu since May 14.

"We will keep sending tents, blankets and other vital supplies to the victims [of the disaster]," Russian officials said. "The next plane will leave Russia on Saturday."


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