Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Afternoon Update

Port-au-Prince was settled in 1700 and had two earthquakes in 1761 and 1780, but none since. The population was 2 million before this quake. Maybe 200,000 dead. There are 12,000 troops with UN, Haiti police and Marines. We heard 7,000 Marines landed today.

Flew over slums around airport. People living on the streets and under tarps. Airport has Marine helicopters and Marines exercising. C130 cargo planes unloading supplies. Our Medishare clinic is on airport right next to Marines. Looks very secure.

We landed at airport and took our personal belongings to Medishare tent in airport. We are riding on a bus along a crowded 2-lane road seeing Haitians in the streets and homes in rubble. Relief teams from Germany, Qatar, Israel, Greece, UN, many NGOs. Ambulances blaring sirens because traffic is so slow. The rock in the water doesn't know the suffering of the rock in the sun.

Earthquake situation report #8 from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Highlights / Key Priorities

  • International search-and-rescue teams reported four more live rescues on 19 January, including those of a 22-day-old baby and a 3-year-old child. The revised total of lives saved by international search-and-rescue teams is over 121 people.
  • Despite logistical and security constraints, the affected population is receiving an increasing number of relief supplies, including medical assistance, food, water and shelter.
  • Priorities remain medical supplies, water and sanitation, tents, blankets, food and fuel and transport equipment.
  • Aid has started reaching people in areas west of Carrefour and in Jacmel.
  • There is an increased risk of death as open wounds and fractures go untreated. WHO reports the number of communicable diseases in Haiti and along the border remains stable

For more information from the OCHA, click here and here.

Wednesday Morning Update

6:46am - On the Bus

We just boarded the bus to our American Airline flight to Port-au-Prince. Our team is together and we have all our supplies checked. Just heard Haiti had another 6.0 quake [Click here for related CNN article] but we will land. We’re a little nervous and my team is discussing how we will stay together. Stay safe and seek military support. We have a police escort in Miami. They are all totally supportive in every way.

7:20am - On the Plane

I am seated on the plane next to a UN representative who told me [retired NBA basketball player and former Georgetown Hoya] Alonzo Mourning donated the first hospital in Haiti this week. [Click here and here for more information] But the UN has had a presence there and has connections. He said they are building a new semi-rigid 300 bed hospital right now and it will have rooms for medical staff too. He said it is the Hilton of hospitals there now.