Tyne & Wear

Sunderland Nissan staff support Japan relief

Workers at Sunderland's Nissan plant have been supporting the relief work after the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

A two-minute silence was held at 1200 BST, four weeks after the disaster. A powerful aftershock struck north-east Japan on Thursday.

A major relief effort is under way and money raised by Sunderland staff will be donated to the British Red Cross.

Nissan is suspending work at the site for three days due to parts shortages after the earthquake.

This stoppage is in addition to the planned Easter closure at the end of the month.

Nissan staff in Sunderland and across the UK have raised more than £25,000 towards the relief work.

Hot meals

Friday's Japan Day events also included vehicles being arranged in a giant cross as a symbol of support.

Nissan staff were being asked to bring £1 to work and other businesses and schools in the Sunderland area are supporting the fundraising.

Through its appeal, the British Red Cross is supporting the Japanese Red Cross which has more than two million registered volunteers, many with specialist training.

They have been distributing personal hygiene kits, blankets, hot meals, clearing debris and transporting injured people.

More than 12,700 people are known to have died in the disaster and nearly 15,000 people remain unaccounted for after the earthquake struck on 11 March.

Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless.

Three people were killed and scores injured after the powerful aftershock struck north-east Japan on Thursday.

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