MANILA, Philippines -- The government will send a medical team to China to help in the rescue and relief efforts after a powerful earthquake struck its southwestern part Monday, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?s spokesman said Tuesday.
Deputy Spokesman Anthony Golez, who is also the spokesman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), said the President has instructed the Department of Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of Health to coordinate immediately to form the team to be composed of 12 to 15 persons that will go to China.
He said the medical team would bring relief goods that might be requested by the Chinese government.
The death toll from the earthquake has risen to nearly 10,000, reports said.
The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8, struck close to densely populated areas of Sichuan shortly before 2:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) on Monday.
It is considered the worst to hit China since the 1976 earthquake in the city of Tangshan near Beijing, which claimed 242,000 lives, reports added.Lira D. Fernandez