Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2010-01-14 12:00 AM
The 7.0 quake struck near the capital Port-au-Prince late Tuesday, reportedly causing widespread devastation and an estimated hundreds of deaths.
The first rescue team, composed of experts from the NFA and from Taichung County, would reach Haiti after transfers in Los Angeles, Miami and the Dominican Republic. The group would be taking communications and search equipment with it.
The Taipei City Fire Department said it was preparing a team of 32 rescue workers and two dogs yesterday afternoon which could go on its way as soon as a request for aid came in. In Kaohsiung, a 28-member team was ready with specialized equipment to break rocks and with detectors to discover people buried under the rubble, reports said.
Taiwan's ambassador to Haiti was taken to hospital and the country's embassy was completely destroyed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, while one Taiwanese businessman was still missing.
Ambassador Hsu Mien-sheng was taken to a hospital run by the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders for treatment of broken bones.
All 13 Taiwanese aid workers in the poor Caribbean country and one family were reportedly unharmed. Another family happened to be on holiday in Taiwan, the ministry said.
A total of about 30 Taiwanese nationals were thought to be staying in Haiti, one of Taipei's 23 diplomatic allies.
The two-story Taiwanese embassy building in Port-au-Prince was destroyed in the earthquake, according to the ministry.
MOFA spokesman Henry Chen said that once the situation on the ground was clear, it would provide further relief goods and financial support.
He said the ministry would pass on the concern and condolences from President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Wu Den-yih to Haiti.
The Caribbean country was reportedly looking for medical assistance and tents for the homeless.