Haiti Earthquake Update #6 CARICOM advances efforts to provide health related support to Haiti.

MESSAGE: 7.0 HAITI EARTHQUAKE UPDATE #6 CARICOM advances efforts to provide health related support to Haiti. (As at 15:30 hrs, January 16, 2010)

Port-au Prince, the capital city of Haiti has been devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake which struck the island on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Damage has been of catastrophic proportions with almost 80 percent of the structures in the capital destroyed. There has been significant loss of life and it is estimated that approximately three (3) million people (or one third of the population) has been affected.

Search and Rescue efforts are continuing but are reportedly hampered by inaccessibility to areas, lack of heavy duty equipment and limited fuel supplies. Communication on the ground remains very poor. All efforts are being made to restore communication as soon as possible.

Jamaica has offered the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston as a staging area for the deployment of relief assistance to Haiti. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assumed responsibility for facilitating access by air. Entities proposing flights into Haiti are encouraged to make contact with the Director of Civil Aviation in Jamaica.

The airport in Haiti is open for daytime operations and at this time entry is restricted to military and humanitarian flights. No possibility of any over-flights due to very limited staffing.

There is no fuel available at Port au Prince Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport (MPTT). Once (if) the ground stop is released, aircraft filed for MTPP should plan at least one hour of holding fuel and enough extra fuel to get to a secondary airport after departing MTPP without refueling.

The Port is currently non-operational.

Main urban roads in Port au Prince (including the airport road) are being cleared by MINUSTAH and the Brazilian battalion. The road from Jacmel to Port au Prince is passable for "all terrain" vehicles (i.e. 4WD). The road from Santo Domingo to Port au Prince is becoming congested as much cargo is already moving.

The Tactical Advance Party for CARICOM, previously called “The Regional Technical Assessment Team”, is confirmed to depart Barbados for Haiti on Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 6:30 AM. This team will harness information and establish logistical arrangement for delivery of the Region’s Health Sector intervention.

CDEMA convened a meeting today with the Minister of Health in Barbados, Honourable Donville Inniss and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John as an input to strengthen the arrangements for CARICOM intervention in the health sector in Haiti.

As part of the CARICOM effort in Haiti, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has deployed 254 soldiers and 29 medical personnel to Haiti. Warehousing facilities have been established and they are receiving relief supplies. A base has been secured to accommodate the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) contingent, which is expected to arrive in Haiti on Tuesday, 19 January 2010.

JDF personnel will work towards restoring cell phone communications and disseminate relief supplies. The Office for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Jamaica has secured limited fuel supplies (air and sea) for search, rescue and relief operations to be carried out by JDF and CDRU.

CDEMA continues to communicate with the JDF and the Department of Civil Protection in Haiti following the initiation of contact on January 14, 2010. HAM Radio communication although limited, is being monitored with the support of the Barbados Amateur Radio Society.

Pledges continue to be received:

i. Three volunteers from Grenada have offered support relief efforts in Haiti.

ii. Anguilla Fire and Rescue Service is working through a Miami Fire Agency offer support to response teams and the Anguillan Red Cross has two accounts set up to receive donations for Haiti. Other forms of relief items are being sought from the general public.

iii. The Government of Suriname has pledged an initial amount of USD 1 million, and military and police troops to assist in the security and relief efforts. There is a 40 ft container load with Blankets, water, stretchers ready to be shipped. The Fire Department of Suriname also has a rescue unit and Hi-Jet Helicopters ready to be deployed.

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number is 1(246) 425 0386

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