Destruction in Ica
Photo: AFP
510 dead in Peru quake
Death toll in Peru earthquake climbs to 510, some 1,500 wounded according to reports. Four Israeli tourists who were feared missing have contacted their families

The four Israeli tourists who were feared missing following the earthquake in Peru have contacted their families, the Foreign Ministry said Friday morning.


The 7.9-magnitude earthquake rattled the country Thursday, claiming the lives of at least 510 people and injuring some 1,500 others.


At one point the number of missing Israelis stood at 120, but eventually they all contacted worried relatives in Israel.


Ido Benat, 26, an Israeli tourist who was in a resort town near Ica when the quake took place, told Ynet of his experience. "There was a general blackout after the quake. There were no electricity, no phone lines and no cellular network. There is still no running water or electricity."


Rescue teams may be sent to Peru

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke with Peru's Ambassador to Israel Luis Mendivil to express Israel's condolences to the Peruvian people and offer help. President Shimon Peres has also offered his condolences.


Meanwhile, the IDF Home Front Command's Search and Rescue unit has begun preparing for the possibility of an Israeli delegation to assist with rescue efforts in earthquake-stricken Peru.


At present time only initial preparations are at hand and the delegation will only leave at the discretion of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.


The Interior Ministry has also prepared for an emergency situation, including delivering passports to Peru if necessary, and aiding Israelis who wish to do so rerun to Israel without their papers.


First published: 16.08.07, 21:11
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