Interpol to send expertise team for quake-stricken Haiti

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PARIS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Lyon-based Interpol decided Friday to send an assistance team composed of experts to Haiti to identify victims in a devastating quake which struck the impoverished Caribbean country on Tuesday.

The second largest intergovernmental organization for international police cooperation announced that it will deploy the team comprising disaster victim identification (DVI) experts and other specialist staff to Haiti on Jan. 18.

These experts will help local authorities assess DVI requirements and can also assist in coordinating the deployments of any other specialist assistance, the organization said in a statement.

"The priority now is to find and rescue as many victims as possible and for the humanitarian relief operation to be implemented ... Interpol is ready to provide whatever support and assistance is needed to help locate missing persons and with victims identification," said Brian Minihane, Interpol's director of Operational Support.

The Interpol has provided similar support in the aftermath of recent natural disasters, including the Philippines ferry disaster in Cebu in June 2008 when some 800 passengers were killed and after the catastrophic tsunami in Southeast Asia in December 2004,which claimed nearly 300,000 lives.

The accurate casualties of the Tuesday catastrophic quake are unknown yet, however, early reports estimated that the 7.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 100,000 people and left 3 million victims.

Not only public and private buildings, but also the governmental system were collapsed in the powerful tremor, which has impeded the prompt and efficient coordination of the aid arriving in the country.