The government will donate HK$300 million for earthquake relief, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen announced yesterday. Mr Tsang also said Hong Kong was sending a rescue squad to the quake-stricken area. The announcement came as donations poured in from all sections of the community. By last night, the donations had snowballed to more than HK$85 million. This included 30 million yuan (HK$33.5 million) from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, HK$30 million from the Jockey Club, HK$5 million from Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Hutchison Whampoa, and HK$1.5 million from the People's Liberation Army force in Hong Kong. The Macau government has also donated HK$100 million, while the independent Macau Foundation donated HK$10 million. Hong Kong's official donation will be passed to the central government's rescue co-ordinating centre, which is under Premier Wen Jiabao. Officials will seek approval from the legislature today to inject HK$300 million into the city's Disaster Relief Fund. It will be the largest single official donation made for disaster relief outside Hong Kong since the fund was established in 1993. The fund donated HK$100 million earlier this year for relief of the snowstorms that battered the mainland. Meanwhile, a 20-member rescue squad was preparing to fly to Chengdu. The team includes 15 firefighters and three paramedics and will be led by the Fire Services' senior divisional commander, Tam Tai-keung. They will be accompanied by a doctor and a nurse from the Department of Health. Mr Tsang said more volunteers from the Hospital Authority and Auxiliary Medical Services were ready to help. The Civil Aid Services had also been put on standby. 'Depending on the severity of the situation we may have to consider other measures as well,' said Mr Tsang, who also ordered Hong Kong's trade offices in Beijing and Chengdu to help Hongkongers stranded in the quake zone. A spokesman for the Fire Services Department said squad members had been trained in disaster rescue. The squad had its own equipment including life-detectors, tents and sleeping bags, but would operate under the command of the mainland rescue authorities. Meanwhile, unions, charity and religious groups, schools, political parties and businesses have launched fund-raising campaigns for quake relief. TVB will stage a fund-raising show for five major relief agencies at 8.30pm on Saturday, while the Federation of Trade Unions will launch a citywide campaign this weekend. The Home Affairs Department announced that district offices and post offices would also accept donations from the public. The city's religious leaders have called on their faithful to donate money and pray for the victims of the earthquake. Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, head of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese, called for prayers for the victims and instructed all parishes to launch special collections this weekend for the relief effort. The Hong Kong Buddhist Association will donate HK$2 million to relief efforts through the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, and will mobilise all temples in the city to pray for the dead as well as start collecting donations today.