The government of Haiti could use circus tents as its temporary headquarters in Port-au-Prince after a powerful quake last month flattened the capital, CNN reported on Friday citing the man who donated them.
Several large circus tents previously used by Cirque du Soleil are on their way to Haiti and could replace the government buildings destroyed by the quake that killed at least 200,000 people, Nevada real estate developer Tom Schrade told CNN.
Schrade, who bought the tents from Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian-based traveling circus, said his wife got the idea to donate them while they were watching coverage of Haiti relief efforts.
"It seemed like a good thing to do," Schrade said.
An aide to the Port-au-Prince mayor confirmed the government, which is operating in small tents or damaged buildings that survived the January 12 quake, would welcome the tents.
The tents have 33,000 square feet of interior floor space, are equipped with heating and air conditioning systems, interior and exterior lighting, toilets and 900 padded chairs, Schrade said.
"Even the shipping containers can serve as housing," Schrade said.
An urgent effort is under way to provide shelter in Haiti ahead of the rainy season expected to hit the island nation in late March.
The Conrad Hilton Foundation, already involved in Haiti relief projects, agreed to finance the shipment, Schrade said. A convoy of trucks with the tents has already left for Florida where the tents will be loaded onto a ship to bring them to Port-au-Prince.
Technicians hired by Schrade will travel there to supervise the set up, he said.
The tents, which initially cost about $5 million, were first used by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas a decade ago. They also spent time at a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, theme park before Schrade bought them with the idea of using them at a Reno hotel, but the economic downturn derailed his plan, he said.
MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti)