OTTAWA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Canada on Tuesday offered condolences over the deadly mudslides in the county of Zhouqu in China's northwestern province of Gansu.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon said: "On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy to those who have been affected by this terrible disaster. We send our condolences to the grieving families -- our thoughts are with you."
He said that Canada stands ready to provide support to the people of China during this time of need, adding that Canadian officials in Beijing are contacting Chinese authorities to determine whether Canadian assistance may be requested.
Cannon confirmed that there has been no report of any Canadian citizens being affected in the mudslides.
The death toll from a massive rain-triggered mudslide in Zhouqu County in northwest China's Gansu Province has risen to 702, with 1,042 others still missing, local civil affairs authorities told a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Some 1,243 people have been rescued since the mudslide hit the county in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gannan early Sunday, destroying hundreds of homes.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) had dispatched 5,300 soldiers, 150 vehicles, four helicopters and 20 speed boats to Zhouqu for search and rescue. However, the mountainous terrain in the county has hampered the disaster relief operations.