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India said on Monday it was ready to send rescue teams and more aid to disaster struck Japan after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. “We are in touch with the government of Japan to ascertain the kind of assistance they need,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Parliament, adding a shipment

of 25,000 blankets was being rushed for homeless survivors. 

“We are ready to send search and rescue teams and relief material,” Singh said. “We stand ready to help in the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase and our navy is on standby to send its ships to Japan as part of such an exercise.”

Naval ships can carry huge amounts of relief material and heavy lifting equipment.

“We will spare no effort in assisting the Japanese authorities in dealing with the aftermath of this disaster,” Singh said.

He said there had been no reports of casualties among the 25,000 Indians in Japan.

The death toll from Friday’s two disasters is certain to exceed 10,000 in one Japanese prefecture alone, its police chief has warned.