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NYPD: NYC team continues rescue efforts in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - Andy Bershad, second from right,

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - Andy Bershad, second from right, a member of the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Task Force helps search search a collapsed building for survivors. Bershard is a member of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit and a resident of Blue Point Long Island. Credit: Charles Eckert

NEW YORK (AP) — Officials say a joint New York City Police-Fire rescue team in Haiti has pulled out two children alive from the rubble of a collapsed two-story building in Port-au-Prince.

Police spokesman Paul Browne says the 8-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl had been trapped for a week and were severely dehydrated. He said the children were rushed to an Israeli tent hospital where they were being treated.

Browne says the team recovered the bodies of three children from the same site earlier in the evening Tuesday, but they were pronounced dead at the scene. He says a rescue team from Virginia joined the NYPD and FDNY in the effort.

Browne says that since the joint NYPD-FDNY team of 80 members arrived in Haiti on Saturday, it has helped extricate six people alive from structures that collapsed in the quake a week ago. The city rescue task force is one of a number of urban units sent to the earthquake-ravaged island.

But as time goes on, the chances of finding people alive in the ruins decreases, said a law enforcement official.

The New York task force is being led by joint commanders: FDNY battalion chief Joseph Downey of West Islip and NYPD deputy inspector Robert Lukach of Port Jervis.

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* You can help immediately by texting "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts.

* Wyclef Jean, a rapper and hip-hop artist from Haiti, urged people to text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 toward earthquake relief. Yéle Haiti is a grassroots movement inspiring change in Haiti through programs in education, sports, the arts and environment, according to its Web site.

* The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. The Red Cross has also set up a Web site to help family members find and contact relatives.

* You can also go online to organizations such as the Red Cross and MercyCorps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The FBI warned Internet users to be wary of e-mail messages seeking donations in the aftermath of the quake. People who want to send money or assistance should contribute to known organizations and should be careful not to respond to unsolicited e-mails, officials said.

Other Web sites accepting donations include:

-Haitian Health Foundation
-Hope for Haiti
-International Medical Corps
-Beyond Borders

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