A British former firefighter leading a rescue team in Haiti is hopeful they will find survivors a week after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck.
Rob Davis, 50, is co-ordinating the group of structural engineers from the charity Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (Saraid).
Mr Davis said there was “always hope and there’s always a chance” that victims will be found alive.
Mr Davis, from Bath in Somerset, said his crew of former firefighters, paramedics and engineers will be examining buildings in Miragoane, Les Cayes and Jeremie to check whether they were safe to use and to search for anybody trapped inside.
Speaking ahead of his trip he said: “I know the area well and the beautiful people of Haiti. Obviously there’s trepidation about what we’re going to see.
“But we train our people well, they’re prepared for this type of thing, and we just want to get on and get into the affected areas now.”
He added that it was possible people could be pulled alive from earthquakes some days afterwards depending on their condition and if they had access to water.
Five days after the 2005 earthquake struck in Kashmir, Pakistan, a man in his 80s was rescued from a building.
Mr Davis said: “He survived because he wasn’t traumatically injured, he was literally entombed in the building that collapsed on him, and it rained really heavily and had run down the walls of the building he was in.
“He was licking the rain from the walls and that kept him alive. So we’re not giving up hope.”
Mr Davis, who also rescued Haitians following the 2010 earthquake which struck Port-au-Prince, said the capital is only just “starting to recover”.
The epicentre of the 2021 quake was about 78 miles (about 125 km) west of the capital, according to the US Geological Survey.
The team landed in Haiti on Friday and are due to stay for eight days.
Team arrived safely in Port au Prince yesterday and made contact with UN and local Civil Protection units to develop their tasking. On their way to Les Cayes today to the worst affected areas to undertake damage assessments on high priority structures (schools,hospitals,bridges) pic.twitter.com/sDqwTfQOc1
— SARAID (@team_saraid) August 20, 2021