Brazil confirms 12 Brazilians died in earthquake in Haiti

10:07, January 14, 2010      

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Brazilian Army confirmed on Wednesday the death of 12 Brazilians including the international coordinator of the Pastoral of the Child, Zilda Arns Neumann, and 11 officers belonging to the Force of Peace in Haiti due to the earthquake of 7.0 on the Richter scale that hit the country on Tuesday.

The army statement added that eight Brazilian soldiers have disappeared and nine were injured after the earthquake, two of them were seriously injured and have been sent to Dominican Republic.

Minister of the Special Secretariat for Human Rights (SEDH) Rogrio Sottili said there are reports that more than 17 Brazilians were killed in the earthquake that hit the capital of Haiti Port au Prince on Tuesday, in an interview with the official news agency from Brazil on Wednesday.

Unofficially, the Head of Social Communication of the Brazilian battalion in Haiti, Colonel Alan Sampaio Santos said that among Brazilian soldiers, seven people have died and many injured.

Brazilian military participating in the peacekeeping mission inHaiti have worked through the early hours of Wednesday in the rescue of comrades buried in collapsing buildings and assisting the local population and authorities of the country.

The Brazilian community in Haiti is made up of 1,310 people, most of them are military personnel who serve the peacekeepers of the United Nations -- 1,266 soldiers works in several areas such as security, engineering and health care. The Brazilian Defense Ministry said there are records of Brazilian soldiers missing.

According to reports received from the Charge d'Affaires of Brazil in Port au Prince, Claudio Campos, the building of the Embassy of Brazil suffered serious concussions, but there were no casualties among Brazilian officials. There are reports that some UN military installations were also damaged.

Brazil participates with 1,266 military in the UN mission, of whom 250 belong to the army engineering. They have played a significant role in helping the victims of hurricanes, which reached Haiti in 2004 and 2008.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has decided that 10 million U.S. dollars will be donated as humanitarian aid to Haiti to assist in reconstructing the country.

Since the systems and mobile telephones are crippled, the Brazilian government is having problems in getting information, sothe Defense Minister Nelson Jobim is heading towards Port au Prince, Haiti's capital on Wednesday morning accompanied by military and the Ambassador of Brazil in Haiti Ygor Kipman. They will assess the damage caused by the earthquake.

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will send eight planes to help the victims of the earthquake, FAB said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Water and food will be transported by three C-130 Hercules and a Boeing 707, which are already on standby in Rio de Janeiro, and four C-105 Amazonas, which depart from Manaus. The aircraft will be sent as soon as Port au Prince airport is reopened. The Haitian capital's airport remained closed on Tuesday night.

Source: Xinhua
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