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Mexicans Return Home from Earthquake-hit Haiti

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The first Mexicans who have been rescued from earthquake-hit Haiti, where at least 50,000 people have died, arrived in Mexico on Friday aboard a Mexican military aircraft, broadcasters here reported.

The 10 Mexicans, which included a 6-month-old baby, arrived in Mexico City at 1:15 PM local time aboard aircraft number AMT230 and were formally welcomed by Daniel Hernandez Joseph, a Foreign Ministry official who coordinated their return from Haiti.

The ministry has reported that 42 Mexican citizens have been found safe in Haiti, one citizen has died and a further 38 people are missing.

On Wednesday, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon told media the nation will send 15 to 20 tons of aid a day to Haiti as well as hundreds of doctors, rescue workers, engineers and civil protection staff.

Mexico's donations are being coordinated by the nation's Red Cross and the organization is also sending staff, equipment and supplies aboard a Mexican government aircraft.

The Haitian quake struck a strong cord with Mexicans who suffered a quake in Mexico City in 1985 that killed at least 10,000.

Earlier on Friday, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said that the total death toll in Haiti may go as high as 100,000 as people trapped in quake-ravaged buildings died and because the collapse of infrastructure increases the risk of deadly diseases among the survivors.

(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2009)

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