Icelandic Search and Rescue: Still Hope in Haiti Skip to content

Icelandic Search and Rescue: Still Hope in Haiti

Gísli Ólafsson of the Icelandic search and rescue team in Haiti said people are still being found alive in the rubble after a series of earthquakes hit the country one week ago. While there is still hope, the search will continue, he told Morgunbladid.

The Icelandic team. Courtesy of ICE-SAR.

The team’s condition is good, although its members are tired after searching from daybreak to nightfall every day, and they have sensed nothing but thankfulness from the Haitians, Ólafsson added.

According to a press release, the Icelandic team is currently participating in the search for survivors in the collapsed Montana hotel in Port-au-Prince.

Yesterday, the Icelandic team worked with an American team on searching the center of the capital. No one was found alive in the rubble.

The search for survivors in Léogane, a city closer to the epicenter of the earthquakes, was also fruitless. The situation in Léogane was devastating and the crew provided those who were injured with medical assistance.

The team had originally planned to spend the night in the city but instead returned to camp in Port-au-Prince. Further medical assistance was called for.

The team’s return to Iceland is now being prepared; their departure is scheduled for Thursday evening. Its coordinator in Iceland told Fréttabladid that the rule of thumb is that search for survivors is called off when no one has been found alive for 48 hours.

Last night volunteers at the Icelandic Red Cross packed around a thousand first aid packages for a medical team headed for Haiti. The plan is for the packages to be sent with the airplane which will take the search and rescue team back home.

Air conditioning equipment for operation rooms and other hospital equipment will also be on board the airplane.

According to Fréttabladid, American talk show host Oprah Winfrey has asked for permission to use photographs and video footage of the Icelandic search and rescue team in action for her show about Haitian rescue efforts tomorrow.

So far, Icelanders have donated nearly ISK 30 million (USD 240,000, EUR 167,000) in support for earthquake victims in Haiti through three charity initiatives, Morgunbladid reports.

Click here to read more about Icelandic search and rescue efforts in Haiti.

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