MOSCOW (AP) – A senior Cabinet official says Russia will double its oil exports to Japan to 18 million tons this year to help its neighbor through the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Tuesday that Japanese companies could join Russia’s Gazprom in exploring two massive gas fields, Russian news agencies reported. That includes Kovykta which contains 2 trillion cubic meters of gas.
Amid relief efforts to help the tsunami-stricken nation, Moscow has been eager to use the opportunity to boost its energy sales to Japan.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier suggested that Russia could redirect some of the liquiefied natural gas it planned to sell to Europe to Japan instead.
Jewish and Israeli Groups Mobilizing Response to Japan Quake and Tsunamis | Jewish Internet Defense ForceMarch 12, 2011
Jewish organizations are mobilizing responses to the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday.
IsraAid, an Israel-based coordinating organization for 17 Israeli and Jewish humanitarian groups, said Friday that it has two teams of rescue personnel, emergency medical officers and water pollution specialists ready to deploy to Japan but was looking for ways to reach the affected area.
Because the airports in the affected area are flooded and Tokyo-area airports closed on Friday, IsraAid said it was exploring the possibility of flying to a nearby country and then trying to make it to northeast Japan, where the tsunami has killed hundreds and devastated cities and towns.
Volunteers search for victims after Mount Merapi erupted near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images.
A thick layer of dust coated villages on the Indonesian island of Java after Mount Merapi began spewing lava and ash on Tuesday. Residents who were evacuated have started returning to their homes, despite uncertainty over continued volcanic activity in the mountain. At least 30 people have been confirmed dead. Mount Merapi last erupted in 2006.
Indonesia is also grappling with the effects of yesterday’s devastating tsunami, triggered by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake in Sumatra. The death toll has risen to at least 272, with more than 400 people still missing. Rescue efforts are underway, but some of the affected areas, including remote islands, are not easily accessible.
Some say an early warning system, built in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 tsunami, failed to work properly, leaving locals with inadequate time to flee the path of the tsunami.