Balinese Woman Survives Haiti Quake; Fate of Two Others Unknown

The Bali Times

PORT-AU-PRINCE/DENPASAR ~ A Balinese woman working in Haiti survived last Tuesday’s devastating earthquake that flattened the Caribbean nation after being evacuated from her hotel by a United Nations rescue team, her family said.

Ni Luh Made Juini sent an email to her family in Bali on Thursday, saying she was OK, and managed to make a telephone call home on Saturday.

“I thank Ida Sang Hyang Widhi (God Almighty) for saving my daughter during the disaster. She said she was evacuated by a United Nations rescue team that came to her hotel,” the woman’s father, I Wayan Maliana Maliana, said late on Saturday.

He said Juini had been working in Haiti with two other Balinese, Ni Ketut Yasri Astiti and I Gusti Putu Ayu Sukerti, and he asked the government to help bring them home. There was no immediate word on the fate of the other two.

“My daughter said she will return to Bali when her travel documents are completed,” said Maliana. She had started work at a spa in Haiti in February 2009.

Bali’s Manpower and Transmigration office chief Made Artadana said that Juini was the only one of the three Balinese in Haiti who was officially certified as a migrant worker.

The central government said it was sending a 75-person medical and rescue team to the tiny country of almost 10 million people that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

Haitian authorities put the death toll from the 7.0-magnitue earthquake at 50,000 on Saturday, with fears it will rise drastically as more bodies are found under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

On Saturday UN chief Ban Ki-moon Saturday confirmed the death of his mission chief in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, and his Brazilian deputy in the quake.

“I am deeply saddened to confirm the tragic death of my special representative to Haiti, Hedi Annabi,” Ban said in a statement.

“His deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, and the acting police commissioner, Doug Coates of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, are also confirmed to have perished,” he added.

The announcement brings to 40 the number of UN personnel confirmed dead in the disaster.

A massive international aid operation is underway amid reports that many Haitians, particularly outside the capital Port-au-Prince, have nothing to eat and no medical care.

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