A 62-member China International Search and Rescue Team left for Nepal at around 6 a.m. on Sunday Beijing time for humanitarian rescue following a 7.9-magnitude earthquake on Saturday.

With six sniffer dogs and relevant rescue and medical equipment, the team is expected to arrive in Kathmandu midday Sunday on a chartered plane, according to the China Earthquake Administration.

Most of the rescue team members are experienced in earthquake rescue who had participated in domestic or international missions in a dozen of serious earthquakes, including the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan in 2008 and those in Japan, Haiti and Pakistan, said Zhao Ming, chief of the team.

"We will try our best to assist with the Nepali government and save lives," Xinhua quoted Zhao as saying.

Mahesh Kumar Maskey, Nepali Ambassador to China, saw off the rescue team at the airport. He extended gratitude to China on behalf of the Nepali government and people.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed," Maskey said. "Nepali people will always remember the support and help from China."

China International Search and Rescue Team, founded in 2001, is qualified by International Search and Rescue Advisory Group External Classification (IEC) to be a heavy urban search and rescue (USAR) team. This is its tenth international mission.