Chinese rescue team continues work in Haiti

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A section of China's rescue team in quake-ravaged Haiti has set off to help in one of the hardest-hit suburbs of the Caribbean nation's capital, according to China Earthquake Administration (CEA).

A group from the China International Search and Rescue Team (CISAR) have departed for the Carrefour area of Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, the administration said in a statement on its website Monday.

The remaining rescuers were offering medical assistance close to the office building of Haitian prime minister, it said.

Fuel shortages were making the CISAR's rescue and relief mission in Port-au-Prince even harder, as much of the rescue equipment did not have sufficient fuel supplies, according to the CEA.

Deteriorating safety conditions in the Caribbean city were also threatening the progress of CISAR missions, it said.

Haiti's police and the United Nations Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (Minustah) had ordered a curfew starting at 6 p.m. local time on Sunday in Port-au-Prince.

Miao Chonggang, vice director of the CEA's department for disaster relief and emergency aid, told Xinhua Monday the CISAR was working under the protection of Chinese peacekeeping forces in Haiti.

On Sunday, the rescue team, comprising 50 members of the CISAR plus a dozen or so officials and journalists, completed its work at the ruins of the U.N. headquarters in Haiti after more than 60 hours.

They were responsible for finding the body of Hedi Annabi, U.N. secretary general's special representative to Haiti, among debris and the body of Annabi's deputy Luiz Carlos da Costa.

The bodies of eight Chinese police officers who died in the earthquake were also excavated and are expected to be brought home Tuesday morning Beijing time on a chartered flight. The officers were meeting U.N. officials at the headquarters when the quake struck.

While working at the debris of the U.N. headquarters, rescuers had to handle most of the excavation by hand as the building was half way up and against a hill, which limited use of machines, an official of the CEA said. They also had very little time for rest.

More than 50,000 people are believed to have died in the 7.3-magnitude quake that struck the island country Tuesday local time.

Haitian officials said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the country in more than 200 years.

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