The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his sorrow for the victims of the earthquake that struck southwestern China today, killing thousands of people, and pledged U.N. support in any humanitarian efforts. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General said he was deeply saddened by the loss of life and destruction of property, and extended his condolences to the families of the victims. "The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of China in its efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs caused by the disaster," the statement added.