GENEVA (Agencies) - The United Nations said Friday that it is ready to send search and rescue teams to quake-hit Japan if the Asian state needs help. Thirty-five international search and rescue teams are on alert, they are monitoring the situation and ready to help should Japan request aid, said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UN stands ready to help, she added. Byrs told journalists that OCHA experts were in constant contact with their counterparts at Japans disaster relief authority. Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma on Friday gave condolences to victims, offering assistance in the tragedy. I wish to extend our condolences to the government and the people of Japan, Zuma said in a statement. The people of South Africa share the pain and loss of the loved ones, their homes and property and our thoughts and prayers go to the affected families. Meanwhile, the European Union on Friday announced it would mobilise all appropriate assistance for Japan. We learned with great concern the news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that today struck Japan and the Pacific region, said an EU statement issued as leaders of the 27-nation bloc went into an emergency Libya crisis summit. We express our condolences and support to the governments and the people affected. In addition to national responses, we have asked the High Representative and the Commission to mobilise all appropriate assistance, it added. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he wanted to express our solidarity with the Japanese people. I want to tell all the Japanese people that France stands with you in this terrible catastrophe.... We will send rescue teams, planes, whatever is needed to help. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama on Friday offered his condolences to the people of Japan and said his country stood ready to help them after a massive earthquake and tsunami. Meanwhile, China said Friday rescue workers were on standby to go to Japan, as other concerned Asian nations pledged their support. Chen Jianmin, head of the China Earthquake Administration, said authorities had already put quake relief personnel, equipment and medicine in place, ready to depart for Japan at any time, the state Xinhua news agency said. Disaster-prone China is well versed in relief work, particularly where quakes are concerned after a massive 8.0-magnitude tremor hit the southwestern province of Sichuan in May 2008, leaving nearly 87,000 dead or missing. Australias Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan said his country stood ready to assist Japan in any way at this difficult time, adding its embassy was urgently contacting authorities to see if any nationals had been affected. South Korea also expressed its sympathy and pledged every possible support to help Japan recover, adding around 40 rescue workers had been put on standby to head to the quake-hit nation. The Philippines, which was hit by small tsunami waves, said it was anxiously waiting for word on the condition of nearly a quarter million of its citizens living near the epicentre of the quake. In South Asia, India conveyed sympathies and condolences to victims as well as offering assistance. We are saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage to property and infrastructure, the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that there were no reports of casualties among the 25,000 Indians in Japan. Letters of sympathy with offers of assistance had been sent to Japans prime minister and foreign minister, the statement said. In Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapakse said Japan was a very close and dear friend and its people possessed incredible resilience and courage to overcome destruction. Meanwhile, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistans Prime Minister, said his country was also ready to help. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said everyone should be thinking about the country after it was hit by a major earthquake and tsunami. He told reporters the Japanese earthquake was a terrible reminder of the destructive power of nature. He added: Everyone should be thinking of the country and its people and I have asked immediately that our Government look at what we can do to help.