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  Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Russia will send nine military planes to China on Saturday carrying
Russia will send nine military planes to China on Saturday carrying equipment for the ongoing relief operation following the May 12 earthquake that has left over 60,000 dead, a defense official said.

Gen. Vladimir Isakov, a deputy defense minister, said: "Nine planes will urgently be sent to deliver 23 mobile kitchens, 300 large army tents, and 3,000 woolen blankets."

Eight of the planes will be Il-76s flying from the Domna airbase in Chita, East Siberia, and one will be an An-124, which is now being loaded at the Chkalovsky airbase near Moscow.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Saturday that the death toll in the Sichuan province could rise to 80,000 as most of the missing are presumed dead.

The disaster has left over five million people homeless.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who arrived in the town of Yingxiu in the Sichuan province this morning to see the ongoing relief operation, pledged the UN's support in relief and reconstruction work. The UN has so far allocated $8 million for emergency aid to the region.

The Chinese government has pledged 70 billion yuan ($10 billion) for reconstruction work.


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