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Russia sends airmobile hospital to help Haiti quake victims

RIA Novosti


ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), January 14 (RIA Novosti) - Three Russian emergencies ministry planes took off for Haiti on Thursday carrying rescuers, supplies and equipment including a mobile hospital to help the earthquake-stricken country.

"The third Emergency Situations Ministry plane took off from the Ramenskoye airfield near Moscow, carrying an airmobile hospital and a group of doctors and rescue workers," a ministry spokesperson said.

The ministry said the hospital has beds for up to 50 patients and is entirely self-sufficient.

"It is equipped with intensive care facilities, operating theaters, and consulting and diagnostic departments, including ultrasound, X-ray and ECG units. The hospital also has a blood bank," a ministry official said.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday, destroyed many buildings, including the presidential palace and the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission.

The quake's epicenter was 10 miles southwest of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, at a depth of just 6 miles. It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including two measuring 5.9 and 5.0.

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said on Wednesday some hospitals had collapsed and the death toll from the quake could reach "well over 100,000."

"We need some hospitals, some medicine and some doctors," he said.

The first of the Il-76 cargo planes took off from Ramenskoye at 5:30 a.m. Moscow time (02:30 GMT) with a emergency vehicle, rescuer workers and sniffer dog teams on board.

The Russian specialists have worked to help the victims of disasters both in Russia and around the world, including in Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Ossetia.

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