High-powered German pumps on way to US

7th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 September 2005, BERLIN - A team from Germany's THW civil defence corps would soon be on its way to Louisiana with 15 high-powered pumps to fight flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, German Interior Minister Otto Schily said Tuesday.

7 September 2005

BERLIN - A team from Germany's THW civil defence corps would soon be on its way to Louisiana with 15 high-powered pumps to fight flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, German Interior Minister Otto Schily said Tuesday.

The federally funded THW, which has volunteer relief units in almost every German town, has extensive experience combating natural disasters in Germany and abroad. Schily told U.S. diplomats last week he would deploy it to the United States if needed.

The U.S. ambassador to Germany, William R. Timken, said earlier Tuesday in Berlin that German aid was already being distributed after the German Air Force flew it to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

"Victims are ... already consuming the food that was flown in by the Bundeswehr on the weekend," said Timken at a press conference.

Timken said Germany's assistance to victims of the disaster showed the depth and strength of relations.

Aside from emergency food aid, the United States had asked Germany to consider sending generators, emergency shelters, pumps, water purification systems, search and rescue teams, and vaccination tea

A letter sent by U.S. President George W. Bush to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder expressed thanks for the assistance and sympathy.

"The generosity with which the German people and their government have responded to the catastrophe is a testament to the human spirit as well as the bonds between our nations," said Bush.

A German university offered its own form of relief Tuesday for Hurricane Katrina victims: a course of study for a student whose U.S. college has been wrecked by the disaster.

Bamberg University, in southern Germany, said it would pay for six months of board and a return air ticket for either a student or a professor with nowhere to go as colleges on the Gulf coast rebuild.

The university, where courses are conducted in German, said it had already heard of several candidates.

Members of Germany's parliament on Wednesday rose from their seats in a show of solidarity with the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Parliament President Wolfgang Thierse said Germany was sending aid to the U.S. to assist victims out of humanitarian concerns and as a way of thanking the Americans for aid to Germany in the post-war era.

DPA

Subject: German news

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