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Israel Rushing Medical Aid to Nicaragua Earthquake Victims

Israel prepared today to send a team of ten medical men to aid in relief work in Nicaragua for the victims of the earthquake that devastated that nation’s capital, Managua. The Foreign Ministry has instructed Israeli Ambassador Eli Nevo in San Jose, Costa Rica, who is also accredited to Nicaragua, to ascertain immediately what type of doctors–surgeons or preventive medicine specialists–were most urgently required. The make-up of the Israeli medical team will be based on Ambassador Nevo’s information. The team will be assembled and dispatched without delay, a government source said. The Israel government will pay the doctors’ salaries and expense while there are on duty in Nicaragua.

Israel has already sent a consignment of antibiotics for the earthquake survivors, supplied by the Red Magen David. Tahal, Israel’s water resources planning company has sent an offer to Nicaraguan officials to reconstruct the Managua water system which was destroyed by the disaster Sunday.

The consignment of drugs from Lod Airport was accompanied by Jose Rene Lopez, a Nicaraguan engineer who was studying subterranean water research at the Hebrew University. Lopez tried unsuccessfully to make telephone connections with Managua. He was directed to Israeli radio amateurs who did make contact with Managua but that connection produced no news for the student about the fate of his family. Trans World Airlines, in cooperation with the Red Magen David and the Foreign Ministry, arranged a free ticket for Lopez for the flight.

Ambassador Nevo wired the Israeli Foreign Ministry that the Israelis in Nicaragua were all safe.

Tahal officials said the firm had already carried out some irrigation and water projects in Nicaragua and that four Tahal experts were in Managua when the quake struck but they were reported safe in Honduras. Aaron Weiner, Tahal director general, said Tahal had wide experience in reconstructing damaged water systems. He said Tahal had rebuilt the water system in Iran after quakes there.

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