Dominican Republic Helps Injured Haitians Crossing Border
JIMANI, Dominican Republic (AFP)--Dozens of gravely injured Haitians sought refuge and medical attention in the neighboring Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
Buses from Port-au-Prince, which was devastated by Tuesday's earthquake, brought the injured to the General Meleciano Hospital, 280 kilometers west of the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo.
President Leonel Fernandez ordered border hospitals to open their doors, but fearing a sharp influx of migrants, Dominican authorities also stepped up immigration controls.
Victims sought treatment for a range of serious injuries from badly-damaged limbs to skull fractures.
The most serious cases were transferred to larger hospitals, Dominican authorities said.
Earlier Wednesday, members of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti were transferred to Santo Domingo for treatment.
Haiti has had troubled relations with its eastern neighbor, which has frequently been bombarded with refugees fleeing Haiti's political and natural disasters.
In the 1930s, Dominican dictator Rafael Trujilo ordered the slaughter of tens of thousands of Haitians in an assault on the border.
Mistrust between citizens of the two countries remains strong, but appeared to be put aside Wednesday, as Dominicans offered help to their neighbors from the western third of Hispaniola.
Other Dominican hospitals near the border received injured Haitians, including those in Barahona province.
A logistics center for aid groups was set up in Jimani. Trucks carrying water and food, as well as mobile kitchens, left from the camp, the first batch of a mission to supply around 10,000 meals a day.