by Alejandra del Palacio
MEXICO CITY, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Planes have started to land in Port-au-Prince with drinking water, food, special tools, rescuers and doctors as Latin American countries acted to help Haiti out of the aftermath of Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 earthquake.
Though no exact number of casualties was confirmed so far, experts of disaster management are expecting it to reach the tens of thousands.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive warned on Wednesday that the temblor might have caused 100,000 deaths. Haiti has a population of 8.3 million by a 2003 estimate.
A Venezuelan plane was among the first to touch down in Port-au-Prince with 14 tons of relief supplies and 39 rescuers.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said it was the first aid flight from his country, hinting there would be more into the Caribbean island state.
Two military planes took off from Brazil with 21 tons of relief supplies while the Brazilian government announced the country was providing Haiti with an emergency fund of 15 million U.S. dollars.
Chile was sending overnight a plane loaded with 12 tons of relief supplies along with doctors and rescuers with specially trained sniff dogs.
Peru is to send in 50 tons of relief supplies while Ecuador is to dispatch to Haiti dozens of rescuers.
Costa Rica is sending in 50 rescuers, mostly doctors and engineers.
Panama has also contributed 22 rescuers to the international effort as Nicaragua is flying two planes to fetch in international rescuers and their equipment along with 10 Nicaraguan rescuers.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said what in need was immediate actions of humanitarian aid for the Haitian people and government.
Bolivia is preparing to donate blood and food to Haiti while Cuban leader Raul Castro expressed readiness to join the international rescue effort with Cuban doctors and medicines.
China sends rescue team to quake-hit Haiti, donates one million dollars
A female armed police official helps fastening helmet of a female member of a Chinese rescue team before the 60-member team's departure for quake-hit Haiti, at the Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 13, 2010. The team consist of search and rescue personnel, who have conducted many rescue tasks of this kind in the past years, and three sniffer dogs. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)
BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- China sent a 60-member Chinese search and rescue team to quake-hit Haiti on Wednesday evening and the Red Cross Society of China has decided to donate one million U.S. dollars of emergency aid to the Caribbean country. Full story
World Bank to provide additional emergency aid to Haiti
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank said Wednesday it will provide an additional 100 million U.S. dollars in emergency grant funding to support recovery and reconstruction in Haiti in response to a magnitude-7.0 earthquake that caused extensive damage and casualties in the Caribbean nation on Tuesday.
"This is a shocking event and it is crucial that the international community supports the Haitian people at this critical time," a World Bank press release quoted bank group President Robert B. Zoellick as saying. Full story
ECLAC calls on int'l community to aid quake-hit Haiti
MEXICO CITY, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on Wednesday called on the international community to send urgent humanitarian aid to Haiti, which was hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake.
In a statement issued on Wednesday in Mexico, ECLAC also expressed its solidarity with the Haitian people, adding that the earthquake left thousands of deaths and hundreds of missing people, including staff of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah). Full story
Italy to take part in relief operations in quake-hit Haiti
ROME, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Italy is ready to do its part in the relief operations in the quake-struck island of Haiti, Foreign Ministry sources said on Wednesday, according to ANSA news agency.
A first emergency aid cargo is to be sent to Haiti by the end of Wednesday containing food, medicines, tents and other important supplies. On board the flight will also be a team from Italy's civil protection department assigned to make a first-hand evaluation on the immediate needs of the Haitian population. Full story
IMF says it stands ready to aid Haiti
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund(IMF) said on Wednesday that it stood ready to support Haiti after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit the small island country.
"I am very saddened by the events unfolding in Haiti following what is yet another major natural disaster. On behalf of everyone at the International Monetary Fund, I offer my deepest condolences and best wishes to the victims of this tragedy," said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF. Full story
UN rushing aid to Haiti following deadly tremors
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations is mobilizing its resources in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday, sending its experts and supplies such as food to victims of the massive tremors in the Caribbean nation, UN officials said here Wednesday.
Josette Sheeran, who heads the UN World Food Program (WFP), said that the agency is already deploying its resources in Haiti and is airlifting an additional 86 metric tons of food -- enough for half a million emergency meals -- from its emergency hub in ElSalvador. Full story