|Passenger ship "Wuzhishan" leaves for Vietnam from Xiuying port in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, May 18, 2014. China began on Sunday to send five ships to evacuate Chinese nationals caught in a deadly anti-China violence in Vietnam, the Ministry of Transport has said. "Wuzhishan" was the first ship leaving for Vietnam. (Xinhua/Wei Hua)
BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- China is to send five ships to Vietnam on Sunday to evacuate Chinese nationals caught in a deadly anti-China violence, the Ministry of Transport said.
The first ship has already set off from a port in Haikou, China's southmost province of Hainan, at 8 a.m. Sunday, said a statement from the ministry.
The ship is expected to reach Vietnam after 17 to 18 hours' travel, according to Hainan Maritime Safety Administration.
A rescue vessel has been sent to the relevant waters to provide emergency support. Another rescue vessel and a rescue helicopter are on standby, officials with the administration said.
Two Chinese nationals were killed in the violence and more than 100 others injured.
An iron and steel complex in Ha Tinh Province of Vietnam, invested by Taipei-based Formosa Plastics Group, was badly hit in the violent attacks triggered by disputes in the South China Sea.
Sixteen critically injured Chinese nationals were evacuated from Vietnam early Sunday morning aboard a chartered medical flight arranged by Chinese government.
More than 3,000 Chinese nationals have been evacuated from Vietnam as of Saturday afternoon, China's Foreign Ministry said early Sunday morning.