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Red Cross: Haiti death toll 50,000
Senior Red Cross official provides grim assessment in wake of devastating Haiti quake; Israeli rescue team makes final preparations ahead of flight to disaster zone. PM Netanyahu: Team embarking on mission on behalf of entire Israeli nation

The death toll from Haiti's earthquake could be between 45,000 and 50,000, with a further three million people hurt or homeless, a senior Haitian Red Cross official said on Thursday.

 

"No one knows with precision, no one can confirm a figure. Our organization thinks between 45,000 and 50,000 people have died. We also think there are 3 million people affected throughout the country, either injured or homeless," Victor Jackson, an assistant national coordinator with Haiti's Red Cross said.

 

Israeli team preparing for mission (Photo: Ofer Amram)

 

The death toll from Haiti's earthquake could be between 45,000 and 50,000, with a further three million people hurt or homeless, a senior Haitian Red Cross official said on Thursday.

 

"No one knows with precision, no one can confirm a figure. Our organization thinks between 45,000 and 50,000 people have died. We also think there are 3 million people affected throughout the country, either injured or homeless," Victor Jackson, an assistant national coordinator with Haiti's Red Cross said.

 

Meanwhile, Israel's 80-member rescue team is preparing to head to the disaster zone Thursday evening. The team comprises 40 doctors in various fields of specialty as well as paramedics and nurses, lab specialists, and pharmacists.

 

Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu phoned the team's chief, Brigadier General (reserve) Shalom Ben Ariyeh and wished him luck on the mission.

 

"You are embarking on a humanitarian mission on behalf of the entire nation of Israel, and based on the Jewish tradition of assisting other human beings," the PM said. Netanyahu noted Israel's extensive experience in rescue operations and expressed his hope that "this time too we shall be able to save as many children, parents, and families as possible in Haiti."

 

Obama: You will not be forsaken

Israel will be establishing a field hospital in Haiti expected to operate in the disaster zone for two weeks to a month.

 

The head of the IDF's Medical Corps team, Colonel Itzik Krise, spoke to Ynet as he made his final preparations ahead of the mission, undergoing a series of tests and receiving some shots.

 

"I feel a sense of mission and elation, but regrettably the circumstances are unpleasant," he said. "As usual, more people arrived than we can deploy. The response was high…we'll continue with this spirit, they're waiting for us over there."

 

Meanwhile, United States President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he has dispatched US troops and ships to Haiti to assist in earthquake rescue and recovery efforts and told the Haitian people, "You will not be forsaken."

 

Obama said in a televised statement that the United States will spend $100 million for immediate relief efforts from the earthquake that is believed to have killed tens of thousands of people.

 

Reuters contributed to the story

 


פרסום ראשון: 01.14.10, 17:59
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