India pitches in with relief supplies to Japan

New Delhi: Ready to extend all possible help immediately to Japan, reeling under the devastation caused by the massive earthquake and Tsunami, India is sending its first plane load of blankets on Sunday. "India sending wool good quality blankets for the people of Sendai and others affected by Japan quake. 1st plane load being readied," foreign secretary Nirupama Rao tweeted.

"Discussed this with Jap (Japanese) Amb (Ambassador) in Delhi and we felt this was most useful and needed item given cold weather conditions in affected areas," she said.

MEA officials also said that governments of Haryana and Punjab are also helping in procuring large quantities of woollen blankets as the weather is very cold there.

Rao is in constant touch with Indian embassy officials and also Japanese officials here regarding their requirements. "All possible help will be extended immediately," they said.

Japan was hit by one of the worst ever earthquakes, causing giant tsunami waves on Friday and according to some news-media estimates, the death toll ranged between 1,300 and 1,700, and could rise sharply.

In the port town of Minamisanriku, nearly 10,000 people were unaccounted for, according to the public broadcaster.