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Earthquake recovery: UK charity to send team to Haiti


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A UK volunteer search and rescue team is preparing to fly to Haiti to offer humanitarian assistance following the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation at the weekend.

British charity Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID) said on Wednesday morning it had mobilised a team of six volunteers, including specialist structural engineers and paramedics to travel to Haiti.

This was made following the request from the Haitian ambassador in London.

More than 1,900 people were killed by Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude quake, with Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency on Tuesday raising the number of those injured to 9,900.

The SARAID team would be in the country for eight days to coordinate and lead structural damage assessments and also to provide technical search expertise to aid in rescue efforts.

They would also be on hand to train local engineers to enable them to continue the work over the length of the country’s recovery from the disaster.

A statement from the charity said: “the UN are currently reporting more than 13,700 homes destroyed or damaged, about 30,000 people displaced from their homes and seven hospitals severely damaged.

“As the window for survivor rescue draws to a close, the search and rescue operations will move onto the damage assessment phase which aims at getting people back into their homes.

“Back into their livelihoods and back to some sense of normality.’’