From 7 to 8 November, a team of French firefighters from Martinique worked through the night in collaboration with Haitian authorities; searching and trying to rescue victims trapped beneath huge slabs of cement. Bodies were found in various classrooms but at about 12:00pm, they rescued two little children alive.
At about 1:00pm, a US rescue team took over from the French. An hour after the transition, the American team started protecting the site to prevent any further collapse of the building and of neighbouring houses before continuing with the search and rescue operation through the rubble.
The overall operation is being coordinated by the Haitian Civil Protection Unit with the support of the international community. PAHO/WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health and partners; to coordinate evacuation, provide medical assistance to rescued victims and a chirurgical kit to the Ministry of Health.
All wounded persons have been referred for screening by ICRC (with the support of the Haitian Red Cross and WHO) to the Eliazar Germain hospital, which received a 10,000 persons' medical kit delivered by WHO. Wounded victims are being transported in ambulances provided both by ICRC/HRC (8) and MINUSTAH (4). Doctors Without Borders France and Belgium are attending to over half of the rescued wounded persons.
ICRC and the HRC have set-up a temporary space to provide support to the victims' families and to facilitate information collection with regards to the identity and location of victims.
Five medical teams consisting of; 4 from MINUSTAH and 1 from Doctors Without Borders are presently on the ground.
MINUSTAH is providing logistic support to the overall operation and assisting the Haitian National Police to clear up the area. Furthermore, the above-mentioned 4 MINUSTAH medical teams have been evacuating the victims.
Official information provided by the Haitian Civil Protection Unit shows that:
84 victims are reported dead;
150 wounded persons have been transferred to hospitals;
About 200 persons are still missing.
The international NGO AVSI, supported by UNICEF, is providing psychosocial activities in the area.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.