Just before a 6.1-magnitude aftershock rocked Haiti yesterday, Israeli emergency services treated two children rescued by a team from the New York City fire and police departments the previous night.
The children, an eight-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl, were taken to the Israeli field hospital in Port-au-Prince, where Israelis have treated 383 victims so far, dozens of them children. Some 140 life-saving operations were performed there and seven babies were delivered. Following the aftershock, the Israelis treated a Lebanese citizen who had been injured.
Israel has provided aid and supplies to Haiti since arriving a few days after the January 12 earthquake caused a massive humanitarian crisis on the island nation.
In addition to Israeli and Jewish medical and search-and-rescue teams, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman initiated proceedings to send a delegation of 10 police officers to assist the United Nations police force in Haiti.
A team from Israel’s emergency medicine and ambulance service, Magen David Adom (MDA), has now joined the Red Cross field hospital set up in the courtyard of Port-au-Prince’s University Hospital. The MDA team will also provide psychological and social services to earthquake victims.
The head of the MDA team said, “Even hours of training and drills do not prepare any person for the sheer scale of destruction we are witnessing and our helplessness when facing the local population’s expectations.”