A magnitude 7.0 earthquake located 18.451°N, 72.445°W struck the island of Haiti on Tuesday January 12th, 2010 at about 5:53 PM Atlantic Standard Time (AST). According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake struck 15 km (10 miles) South West of Port-au-Prince at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). Aftershocks are still being felt.
Reports indicate that there has been extensive damage to Port-au-Prince and causalities may be in excess of 100,000 and hence an urgent need for search and rescue support. It is estimated that approximately three (3) million people have been affected.
CDEMA has initiated a level three (3) response based on preliminary reports on the extent of devastation in Haiti. This level of activation is initiated in cases where disasters overwhelm the capacity of the affected state(s) to respond. It is the highest level of activation by CDEMA and triggers the Regional Response Mechanism.
There remains a continuing threat from aftershocks resulting in collapse of damaged structures and the possibility of landslides.
Current preliminary information indicates that there has been wide spread damage in Port Au Prince. Hospitals, government agencies and international organizations buildings are among the buildings that have been damaged or destroyed.
CDEMA has established contact with the Department of Civil Protection in Haiti who are regrouping and mobilising resources. HAM Radio communication with Haiti has been achieved with some success though limited and is being monitored.
Utilities including water, electricity and telephone services have been disrupted and communication remains a challenge.
Hospitals and health facilities have been severely affected. The main hospital in Port-au-Prince has collapsed and two (2) hospitals have been destroyed. PAHO has indicated that immediate health priorities include: search and rescue of survivors trapped underneath rubble; treatment of people with major trauma injuries; preventing the infection of wounds; provision of clean water; sanitation; and ensuring breast-feeding is continued.
The airport is open to day time flights only. Both sea ports have been damaged. There have been reports of extensive damage to roads
Regional Response Actions:
1. Departing from Barbados today is a regional high powered delegation including the CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington; Chairman of CARICOM, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica; Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable David Thompson; Mr. Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director, CDEMA; Mr. Grantley Watson, the Regional Security Coordinator, RSS, and the Vice President Operations Caribbean Development Bank, Mr. P. Desmond Brunton departed Barbados this evening to meet with Hon. Bruce Golding in Jamaica on Thursday January 14. The delegation will travel to Haiti tomorrow Friday January 15, 2010 to gather data to further inform the nature and scope of the region’s assistance.
2. The Regional Security System and Search and Rescue teams remain on standby.
3. A technical team comprising representatives from the CARICOM Secretariat, CDEMA, UWI, IMPACS (the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security) and the Regional Security System (RSS) will be deployed to Haiti on Friday January 15, 2010 to support the political team and carry out the initial assessment. The team will seek :
- To express solidarity with the Government and people of Haiti at this time of need.
- To assure the Government and people of Haiti of the region’s commitment to support the Haiti response efforts in a tangible and effective manner.
- To establish an initial picture of the Government of Haiti’s priority response and recovery needs.
- To conduct an initial assessment of the earthquake impact and identify priority needs.
- To initially define how the CARICOM region’s response can be best articulated for a tangible and effective response from the region.
-To identify logistical arrangements such as transportation, accommodation and other arrangements for receiving incoming humanitarian supplies and personnel, being deployed from the region.
-To determine the way forward for CARICOM support especially in the area of law enforcement and maintenance of public order.
4. CDEMA is working with international and regional carriers to coordinate the securing of pledges and aid distribution to Haiti.
5. CDEMA has also defined operational scenarios to inform the scope and framework of the CARICOM interventions.
6. CDEMA continues to receive pledges from donors and partners.
7. Suriname has pledges to provide military and police personnel for Haiti. They are currently filling a four (4) feet container with drinking water, blankets and rice to provide assistance in the initial stages.
8.The CDEMA Coordinating Unit also met with the British High Commission in Barbados to discuss the situation in Haiti and to examine issues surrounding the response efforts. The Department for International Development deployed a five (5) member technical team which is expected to arrive in Haiti today. The team includes four (4) technical experts from the United Kingdom and Mr. Roger Bellers previously deployed on Tuesday. DFID and CDEMA have agreed to liaise on the ground in Haiti for a coordinated response.
9. Today the CDEMA Coordinating Unit discussed the response efforts for Haiti with the Australian High Commission. The Government of Australia has pledged AUS$10 million for the Haitian Response AUS$1 million of which will be chandelled through CDEMA. CDEMA has already initiated arrangements to access these funds.
10.The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will deploy Mr. Phillip Cross, the Caribbean Representative of the ITU who will deliver satellite phones to various organizations to assist in addressing some of the communication challenges being experienced.Action by Partners and CDEMA Non Participating States:
The International Federation of Red Cross has launched an appeal for US $10 million in cash, kind, or services to support the Haitian National Red Cross Society to assist 20, 000 families (100,000 beneficiaries) for nine months.
CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number is (246) 425 0386
Ps: Joyce van Genderen-Naar Thanks for sharing the info!