SINGAPORE NEWS: Singapore offers assistance to earthquake victims

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A general view shows a damaged house in Mashiki, Kumamoto prefecture on Apr 15, 2016, after a 6.5-magnitude quake struck the southwestern island of Kyushu on Apr 14. (Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP)

Singapore has offered disaster relief assistance to Japan following the two earthquakes in the Kyushu region, the Defence Ministry (MINDEF) said in a news release on Monday (Apr 18). MINDEF said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen has written to his Japanese counterpart General Nakatani to convey Singapore’s condolences, as well as offer to deploy a Needs Assessment and Survey Team from the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Coordination Centre (RHCC). “Dr Ng noted that the Changi RHCC is ready to deploy a team to support the Japan Self-Defense Forces in coordinating military assistance from foreign militaries in the event that it is required,” said MINDEF. “Through a comprehensive assessment of the situation in the affected areas, the RHCC seeks to enhance information-sharing and operational coordination among the militaries,” it added.

Separately, Singapore non-governmental organisation Mercy Relief said on Monday it will be distributing critical aid essentials to the quake-hit communities to support immediate disaster relief efforts in the Kumamoto prefecture. Mercy Relief said it would distribute food, water, sanitation packs and other non-food necessities as well as hot meals to quake survivors. Additionally, Mercy Relief will be organising a month-long public fundraising appeal in Singapore starting Tuesday. Those keen on supporting its relief efforts can donate via the Mercy Relief website, or by cross cheque or cash.