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30 nations mobilising to help Haiti: US

world Updated: Jan 15, 2010 09:44 IST

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Countries around the world are swinging behind a huge aid effort for quake-ravaged Haiti, with at least 30 nations having sent or readying help, a US official said on Friday.

Eight search-and-rescue teams were already on the ground in Port-au-Prince comprising about 260 personnel, who had joined the grim search for survivors among the ruins, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said.

"Obviously this is still a very growing list, but our estimate is that at least 30 countries have meaningful assistance that has already reached Haiti or is en route," he said.

"So not only is the United States' commitment to Haiti growing, but also the international commitment as well."

Apart from a US team on the ground, there were also staff in place from Iceland, Spain, Chile, he said, adding they had helped free two people from the ruins.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon announced earlier that relief workers from China, the Dominican Republic, France and Venezuela had also joined the huge operation to help the Haitians devastated by Tuesday's 7.0 quake.

Crowley also confirmed news of the first American to have been killed by the massive temblor, identifying her as the US cultural affairs officer in Haiti, Victoria DeLong, who had served in the country since 2009.

"It's a tragedy for the State Department, for our family and the public diplomacy and public affairs world," Crowley said, adding she died when her home collapsed.