Canada confirmed Friday that a former MP is among 1,415 of its nationals missing in Haiti after this week’s devastating earthquake which may have killed more than 100,000 people.
Canada, which has Haitian-born Michaelle Jean as its titular head, also announced to send 1,000 troops to help in relief and recovery efforts in the quake-ravaged nation.
Reporting on the Canadian casualties, Foreign Affairs minister Lawrence Cannon confirmed four deaths. He said former Canadian MP Serge Marcil was among 1,415 Canadians missing in Haiti, even though earlier reports said he has been found and airlifted to Florida.
“According to the latest consular information, there are four confirmed Canadian fatalities. In addition, there are 13 Canadians injured and more than 550 Canadians have been located. A total of 1,415 Canadians are missing in the affected area,” the foreign affairs minister said.
The government said 272 of those traced have already been flown back to Canada.
More than 150 Canadian troops are already in Haiti to help in relief work. The government committed to send 1,000 soldiers to beef up international relief operations in the worst-ever quake to hit the Caribbean region in 200 years ago.
Canada, which is coordinating relief efforts with the US, also dispatched two ships loaded with relief supplies and rescue equipment to Haiti Friday.
The country’s famous Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) – which comprises 200 soldiers who are specially trained for quick relief during disasters around the world – too is headed for Haiti.
Ottawa has also granted visa exemptions to Russian planes flying Canada for delivering aid to Haiti. Russian cargo planes refuelling at Gander airport in Canada will require no visa. The Canadian government also announced to match every dollar donated by people with an equal amount.