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Estonia Supporting Victims of Japanese Earthquake


No. 84-E

The Estonian Foreign Ministry is allocating 200 000 EUR to help victims of the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Japan is Estonia’s close ally and shares the same principles, so Estonia would like to support disaster-stricken Japan during this complicated time. “Japan has not yet been able to assess the full extent of the damage from this catastrophe and they have not directly asked the international community for help, with the exception of a few rescue teams. However, it is clear that regardless of the country’s good disaster readiness the need for aid is very great and Estonia must try to help Japan as quickly as possible,” said Paet.

Foreign Minister Paet added that since the day after the disaster Estonia has been prepared to send an urban search and rescue (USAR) team and experts to Japan as part of the UN or European Union evaluation teams. “Up until now Japan has only accepted a few teams and has preferred those from the Pacific region,” he said.

A magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck the northern part of Japan on 11 March and was followed by an extremely destructive tsunami. The total death toll is not yet known and over 10 000 people are missing. Over 300 000 people have been evacuated. There are 5.57 million households without electricity and 600 000 without water. The Fukushima nuclear plant has also been damaged in the aftermath of the earthquake.

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