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2nd Taiwanese rescue team begins work in Haiti

ROC Central News Agency

2010/01/19 11:02:13
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 18 (CNA) A second Taiwanese post-disaster relief team contributed to search and rescue operations and provided medical services in earthquake-ravaged Haiti Monday after arriving a day earlier.

The team, composed of 15 volunteers, 22 search and rescue personnel and six medical staff, was co-organized by the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, the Taipei City Urban Search and Rescue Team and Tri-Service General Hospital.

Squad members arrived at the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince Sunday after a bumpy nine-hour bus ride from the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Early on Monday, they reported to the United Nations On-Site Operations Coordination Center along with the first Taiwanese team which arrived in Haiti Jan. 13 to get their assignments and begin their first day of work in the Caribbean country.

Members of the second team were divided into two sub-groups. The rescue specialists traveled to a wreckage site along with German workers to search for possible survivors while the six health care personnel were assigned to work at a U.N.-run medical center.

Members of the first Taiwanese team were assigned to scout mountains of rubble at the collapsed Haitian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building and its vicinity.

Chen Chung-liang, head of Taiwan's second group, said his team brought with it enough equipment and goods to support a week of search and recuse operations and medication sufficient for the use of 800 people and 200 doses of surgical drugs.

"We are scheduled to stay in Haiti for five days in hopes of providing the best possible aid to earthquake victims, " Chen said, expressing the belief that his team can make a contribution as many survivors were still being rescued through Sunday.

According to Chen, the difference between his team and the first Taiwan squad lies in the inclusion of a medical team consisting of six people -- one physician, one surgeon, one gynecologist, one pharmacist and two nurses.

"We believe health care services are most needed in Haiti at the moment, " he said. Chen said his team is scheduled to wrap up its mission in Haiti Jan.21.

A powerful magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti last Tuesday, leaving heavy casualties and massive property losses.

(By K.C. Huang and Sofia Wu) enditem/ls

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