A magnitude 7.0 earthquake located 18.451=B0N, 72.445=B0W 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.
Initial unconfirmed reports indicate that there has been extensive damage to Port-au-Prince and there may be in excess of 100,000 causalities 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.
Affected areas remain under threat from continuing aftershocks and the possibility of landslides. Additionally, there is the threat from the collapse of damaged structures.
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.
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 in Turgeau 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 humanitarian and private flights only.
There have been reports of extensive damage to roads. The zone of Turgeau, Pakot and Canape Vert are inaccessible.
Response action by Partners and CDEMA Non Participating States:
1. The World Care Centre of the United States a non-profit organization has made pledges in the form of services.
2. The United Nations has invoked the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters and it is anticipated that satellite imagery of the affected areas will be available by Friday January 15, 2010. This will allow for coordination of specific response to the affected areas.
3. he United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has placed additional Search and Rescue resources on standby for additional support. An eleven (11) member administrative team along with communications equipment has already been deployed.
4. The Caribbean Development Bank through its Emergency Grant Programme has made available US$200,000 and arrangement for accessing is being initiated by CDEMA.
5. The Government of Australia has also made an offer of immediate response assistance to Haiti through the CARICOM Secretariat. The scope of this support is being defined.
6. International Telecommunications Union has offered an emergency communications pack.
7. PAHO and WHO are also collecting data on the health impact of the earthquake to disseminate to other humanitarian aid providers. In addition, PAHO is deploying a 12-member team of health and logistics experts, including specialists in mass casualty management, coordination of emergency health response and the management of dead bodies.
8. The United Nations has invoked the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters and it is anticipated that satellite imagery of the affected areas will be available by Friday January 15, 2010. This will allow for coordination of specific response to the affected areas.
9. The Red Cross has deployed the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) to lead the initial response in Haiti.
10. An International FAC is in Santo Domingo and is expected to arrive in Haiti tomorrow.
11. Puerto Rico is offering services on emergency vector management and control.
The Northwestern Donor Group of the CDEMA Regional Response Mechanism convened a meeting at 2.00pm today to discuss the earthquake impact and the response actions for Haiti. The Meeting was held at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Headquarters in Jamaica, the CDEMA sub-regional focal point for Haiti.
A high level team from Jamaica is scheduled to be deployed to Haiti on Thursday, January 14, 2009, including the Director General of ODPEM, Ronald Jackson and other government representatives to provide an initial overview of the situation on the ground.
Several governments of the CDEMA Participating States, including Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Grenada and Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago held meetings today to determine the coordination of national relief efforts to support the regional response. Pledges are being offered from public and private entities, NGOs and the general public.
The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) has been running models on potential rainfall levels in an attempt to ascertain possible mudslides/landslides over the affected areas.
The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility is process of disbursing approximately US$3 Million dollars to Haiti.
A Regional 12 man team will be deployed on Friday, January 15 to undertake an assessment and determine the level of the emergency effort, the humanitarian needs, logistics coordination and operational support that is required for Haiti. The team will be comprised of CDEMA, CARICOM Regional Security System (RSS), CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), University of the West Indies (UWI) and other technical personnel.
Pledges by Participating States:
Pledges of support have been coming from our CDEMA Participating States; Partners and other countries in the Region. So far these include:
1. US$1 Million dollar donation by The Republic of Guyana.
2. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is deploying a team comprising of Disaster Medical and search and rescue personnel.
3. The Government of Saint Lucia, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and University of the West Indies Jamaica have all pledged aid in the form of services for the affected state.
4. The Government of Bermuda has offered a twelve seater aircraft.
5. Grenada is reaching out to the Grenada Diaspora for donations of water and transportation of such to Haiti.
6. The Grenada Broadcasting Television has also schedule a telethon for Monday 18th January 2010.
7. The government of the Virgin Islands is offering to deploy a Search and Rescue team.
8. The Government of Barbados has established a mechanism for the coordination of national relief efforts and has identified military personnel to support the Community's response.
9. A Jamaica Defence Force vessel with technical, medical and military personnel and relief supplies is being deployed to Haiti.
Please click here to view a preliminary list of humanitarian aid responses identified.
CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number is 1(246) 425 0386