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International Aid Arriving to Help Survivors of Haiti Quake


Donors from around the world are sending rescue teams, doctors and emergency food supplies to Haiti, where many bodies lie in the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince, following Tuesday's massive earthquake.

Planes carrying workers and supplies from the United States, China, Spain and other countries have arrived in Haiti, while many more countries have promised aid.

Tens of thousands of people are feared dead from the 7.0 magnitude quake, while countless others remain trapped in the rubble.

Water, electricity and telecommunication services have been severely disrupted, complicating relief efforts.

The quake devastated Port-au-Prince and destroyed the city's main hospital. A team of Cuban doctors already operating in Haiti has been treating the wounded, and the aid group Doctors Without Borders has set up medical centers in tents.

The national palace and the headquarters of the United Nations mission in Haiti also collapsed.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that 22 U.N. workers were killed, while at least 150 remain unaccounted for, including the head of the U.N. mission, Hedi Annabi.

Mr. Ban says overall security and public order is being maintained, and that U.N. peacekeepers are continuing to patrol and to help the humanitarian effort.

There were reports that looting began in the capital immediately following the earthquake.

Survivors sang religious songs into the pre-dawn hours Thursday as they awaited the massive international relief effort.

VOA correspondent Brian Wagner spoke with an American student, Vadim Stefanyuk,who said he was in a truck when the quake jolted Haiti. Stefanyuk, who belongs to a religious mission group, spoke of the ensuing panic and devastation resulting from the quake, the largest to hit the country in 200 years.

Of the 9,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti, the 3,000 based in Port-au-Prince are clearing roads to assist search and rescue teams.

Officials estimate as many as 3 million people -- about one-third of Haiti's population -- may have been affected by the quake. The Red Cross has pledged $1 million to support relief operations.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Development efforts have suffered severe setbacks because of years of political violence, lawlessness, corruption and natural disasters.

Amir Khasru, reports from Dhaka on the 6 Bangladeshi policemen in Haiti who are currently safe. He also informs that the cabinet in Bangladesh has decided to send aid to Haiti.

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