PORT-AU-PRINCE (January 15, 2010) - David Darg, director of international disaster relief and special projects for Operation Blessing International (OBI), the seventh largest international charity, has just landed in Port-au-Prince with several other team members.
Darg and his team were on one of the first flights into the capital this morning from the Santo Domingo airport in the Dominican Republic, where they've been delayed since yesterday. According to Darg, the scene at the airport was "pure bedlam, with many other disaster relief teams and international media clamoring to get on the few small planes headed into Haiti."
Darg and his team were met in Port-au-Prince by Eric Lotz, OBI's Haiti Director, an American who has lived in Haiti for several years. Lotz was on the ground during the quake, working on a plumbing project at the main hospital in the capital. When the quake struck, Lotz ran out of the building for safety and walked for 8 miles through the devastation to his home.
The scene at the airport in Haiti was similar to Santo Domingo, with many teams and media "log-jammed" without means of transportation into the quake zone.
The first task for Operation Blessing International was to hire SUVs that are now being used to transport search and rescue teams to and from the quake zone. Early this morning, OBI's trucks transported a team of rescuers with search dogs from Spain into the devastation, and more trucks are on the way.
Darg will be meeting with military and governmental officials today to determine additional efforts.
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NOTE FOR TELEVISION NEWS - The OBI team has a BGAN satellite transmitter and will have the capability shortly to do live video interviews from the disaster zone.
Dera, Roslan & Campion Inc. Public Relations
Cell (917) 538-5629