A 35-man strong Icelandic International Search and Rescue Team has pulled the first two eartquake-victims alive out of the rubble of the Caribbean Market in Port-au-Prince in Haiti. The team was deployed by the Icelandic Foreign Ministry and was one of the first rescue teams to reach the devastated city Thursday, following Wednesday's earthquake.
Around 80 foreign nationals have been evacuated from Port-au-Prince with the plane chartered to delploy the search and rescue team. The evacuees are from the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and France. Most disembarked in Nassau in the Bahamas, but eight continued to Iceland before heading home.
The search and rescue team is a highly trained group of search and rescue specialists, fully equipped and self sufficient for up to seven days in the field, bringing with them 10 metric tonnes of their own tools and equipment. The team has extensive experience in rescue operations following serious earthquakes, for example in Turkey and Morocco. It is an INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA) certified medium urban search and rescue team.