Peru to provide aid to earthquake devastated Haiti

The Peruvian government will send aid to Haiti following a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated the capital of the impoverished Caribbean nation, Port-au-Prince, on Tuesday. Defense Minister Rafael Rey said he is contacting Peruvian companies to provide food donations and other basic aid that will be transported to Haiti using two planes from the Peruvian Air Force, daily La República reported.

Tuesday’s earthquake, whose epicenter was inland and only 10 miles from Port-au-Prince, was reportedly the most powerful to hit the region in more than 200 years. Communications were disrupted and numerous buildings collapsed, including the National Palace and a United Nations headquarters building, where more than 200 Peruvian soldiers of the United Nations Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH, were stationed.

According to Rey, Peruvian soldiers and diplomats stationed in Haiti were unharmed by the earthquake and set up a temporary station with tents. “What we’d like is absolute tranquility from the families of our personal stationed in Haiti,” said Rey. “If they are unable to communicate with their relatives they should stay relaxed because they are out of danger.”

Another 30 or 50 Peruvian citizens live in the Port-au-Prince area, the Peruvian Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Vicente Azula, told CPN radio. They are currently unaccounted for due to communications difficulties.

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