Russia readies Haiti disaster relief

Russia is preparing to send disaster relief to quake-struck Haiti, including a mobile air hospital, the emergencies ministry said Wednesday.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday. The quake's epicenter was 10 miles southwest of the Haitian capital, at a depth of just 6 miles. It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including two measuring 5.9 and 5.0.

A Russian ministry spokesman said an Il-76 plane will leave for Haiti on Thursday with 45 people onboard, including 20 doctors.

The hospital, equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and surgery
facilities, can accommodate up to 50 patients at one time.

It can also employ, if necessary, an intensive care unit for 6-10 beds.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN the death toll from the quake could reach "well over 100,000."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier on Wednesday sent his condolences to his Haitian counterpart Rene Preval over the devastating earthquake.

The Presidential Palace and the headquarters of the UN mission in the country lie in ruins in Port-au-Prince. The parliament building and the ministries of finance, justice, labor, culture and communications were seriously damaged.
Only one hospital is functioning in the capital, the remainder have been demolished by the quake.

The country's main prison in Port-au-Prince was also totally destroyed and an unknown number of inmates have escaped.

The looting of stores and other buildings has been reported in the Haitian capital.

No official figures on casualties are currently available, but many are feared to be dead in the strongest quake in the Caribbean Region in two centuries.
The European Union has allocated 3 million euros ($4.3 million) in aid, and U.S. President Barack Obama gave orders to assist the impoverished Caribbean nation.
The State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Southern Command have started to coordinate and estimate the volume of food supplies.

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