The earthquake, which reached 7.3 on the Richter scale, has primarily affected the cities of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour and Jacmel, all located in the West Province area which has an estimated population of 2.2 million.
The IFRC has deployed a Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) to assess emergency and early recovery needs, including the restoration of livelihoods and permanent shelter. The team is composed of experts in logistics, emergency health, shelter, telecommunications, reporting and communication.
Emergency Response Units (ERU) specialized in relief coordination, water and sanitation, shelter, telecommunications and health is also expected in the next few days to provide much-needed support for the emergency operation, including the deployment of a field hospital with a capacity of attending to 50 patients at a time.
"The funds from this appeal will support vital relief operations and will focus on temporary shelter, restoring water and sanitation facilities and providing medical care as well as psychological support to the affected population", said Mauricio Bustamante, IFRC Operations Coordinator in Panama.
The IFRC initially released 500,000 Swiss francs in emergency funds to support the relief operation. As more detailed information arrives from assessments, this preliminary appeal could be revised.
Photos can be downloaded from the Cumulus link : http://av.ifrc.org/Standard/i-sendBasket.index.jsp?basketID=G5TVBL93WKD19HSVYJ4DVF7UR2
Donations to the IFRC emergency response operation can be made under: http://donate.ifrc.org/
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Paul Conneally, IFRC media and external Communications manager: + 41 79 308 98 09
Jean-Luc Martinage, Advocacy and communications Officer + 41 79 217 33 86
Marie-Françoise Borel, Advocacy and communications Officer + 41 79 217 3345
Pilar Forcen, communications manager for the IFRC Americas zone, + 507 6672 3170
Manuel Rodriguez, PADRU information officer, + 507 66 79 43 34
In New York :
Maude Froberg, communications manager, IFRC New York +1 646 358 24 50