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24 Jan, 2010 06:12

Man pulled from rubble after official Haiti rescue operation declared over

After the government of Haiti officially declared the operation to find survivors over, a man has been pulled out from the rubble in Haiti alive – eleven days since the massive earthquake struck.

Haitian officials say 150,000 dead have been buried in the country's capital Port-au-Prince, which was devastated by an earthquake almost two weeks ago.

A senior official has said the death toll will rise because more bodies remain under rubble – while the full extent of casualties outside the city is not yet known.

RT correspondent Aleksandr Luchaninov has been following the relief operations there and spent time with a team of Russian doctors as they helped the victims. He calls the situation a real disaster.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are still unaccounted for. But we saw there plenty of international organizations from dozens of countries around the world who helped the Haitian people to organize the rescue operations,” said Luchaninov.

All Haitian students will study in Russia free of charge, declared Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday.

“We decided to free of charges all students from Haiti who are studying now in Russia. The federal budget will cover their education,” said Putin. The Prime Minister added that he has information about 75 students, a few dozen of whom are studying for free.

He also expressed his condolences for the Haitian tragedy.

The scramble to get aid into the country continues, with a Russian medical squad in place to help victims. In the Russian emergency hospital, doctors helping the survivors of the terrible earthquake are working around the clock.

Kiodine Sufya was at home when the quake hit Haiti. She has suffered numerous wounds including a serious arm injury. Her brother Jean Fouts brought her to the already inundated local hospital. Doctors there told Kiodine that there was no chance of saving her arm.

Jean then began searching for another clinic that could offer some hope to his sister. That hope finally came in the form of a team of Russian surgeons.

“At first she ended up in a local hospital,” remembers Russian surgeon Ivan Safronov. “She was treated for necrosis there. The treatment was not adequate. If she had not been brought to us, they would be forced to amputate her arm. We did everything to help her.”

Emergency treatment lasted for two days, after which her condition improved. The girl’s arm has been saved from amputation and she will be able to live a normal life.

“I have been treated very well here. The doctors are very nice. They said I am going to be fine,” said Kiodine Sufya, already transferred to the rehabilitation ward.

People are desperately trying to rescue relatives and friends affected by the disaster and every life saved is a miracle. However, public desperation in Haiti is high, and screams and gunshots continue to be heard throughout the city.

Read also: Haiti earthquake: Grand finale of political instability