Situation is tense in Haiti. Port-Au-Prince port is being built by the United States to allow aid

DIRECTLY FROM GROUND-ZERO

18th Jan 2010, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti: The port at Port-Au-Prince in Haiti is badly damaged. But the good thing is that the US has undertaken its reconstruction and may be ready by early next week for aid agencies to bring in supplies. The airport’s control tower was knocked out by the quake and U.S. military air controllers were operating from a radio post on the airfield grasss

UNITED SIKHS Director of disaster relief, Gurbachan Singh, whis currently in Haiti, distributed food, and toys for children in a makeshift hospital.  (Please see picture gallery at the end..)

Haiti is the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country and has for decades has devastating storms, floods and political unrest. The U.N.  peacekeepers have  40 of their men who have been here since 2004.The situaton here is very tense. There is limited security in the city, people are frustrated with the lack of food and water and totally lack any hot food supply. The crowds are getting unruly in some areas. UN is spread thin.

At the UNDAC (OCHA Emergency Response Team) briefing today, they said that the places that have been badly affected are Carrafour, Gressier, Leogane, Jazmel, Petit Grove where 60  to 90 percent of homes have been destroyed. UN itself is still organizing themselves because of their own crisis and therefore canot gaurantee any security. Situaton is fairly dynamic. They are working on a cluster distribution system that will provide some general security.  Security for individual points is very  unlikely. I have raised at the conference that after 5 days it is important for all agencies to start providing hot food and beverages. The meeting  members agreed and noted the inputs.

As for medical  supplies the feedback is that the hospitals are overwhelmed and patients are being placed on floors. The real need is for surgical equipment, other hospital equipment and supplies.  A detailed list will be publisd tomorrow as received from the local hospital and will be published on the blog.

The government officials said the total death toll was likely to be between 100,000 and 200,000.

Gurbachan Singh
Director, Disaster Relief
UNITED SIKHS
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

Picture Gallery: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/haitiearthquake/gallery.php

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