UPDATE, 18:09 The first Japanese relief workers are expected to leave tonight. A group of 60 earthquake specialists together with sniffer dogs will head to Sichuan over the next few days. Meanwhile, the Chinese government has appealed for earth-moving equipment to aid rescue efforts in the region. Many relief workers are currently sifting through the rubble with their hands according to ABC News. The latest official death toll stands at 19,500 but is expected to rise sharply over the coming days.