Journal: Haiti Update 20 January 2010 AM


Haitians flee in fear as big aftershock hits

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The most powerful aftershock yet struck Haiti on Wednesday, shaking more rubble from damaged buildings and sending screaming people running into the streets eight days after the country’s capital was devastated by an apocalyptic quake.

The extent of additional damage or injuries caused by the magnitude-6.1 temblor was not immediately clear, AND Prime Minister Jean-Max said the government was sending a plane and an overland team to check on the situation in Petit-Goave, the center of this morning’s aftershock.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday’s quake was centered about 35 miles (60 kilometers) west-southwest of Port-au-Prince and 6.2 miles (9.9 kilometers) below the surface — a little further from the capital than last week’s epicenter was.

“It kind of felt like standing on a board on top of a ball,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Steven Payne. The 27-year-old from Jolo, West Virginia was preparing to hand out food to refugees in a tent camp of 25,000 quake victims when the aftershock hit.

Desperation amid quake aid logjam (Press Association)

The world still cannot get enough food and water to the hungry and thirsty, one week after an earthquake shattered Haiti’s capital.

The airport remains a bottleneck and the port is a shambles. The Haitian government is invisible, nobody has taken firm charge, and the police have largely given up.

Haitian Airport Logjam Woes Persist

The Doctors Without Borders cargo plane carrying 12 tons of medical equipment, including drugs, surgical supplies and two dialysis machines, was turned away three times from Port-au-Prince airport since Sunday night despite repeated assurances of its ability to land there, the group said.

The 12-ton cargo was part of the contents of an earlier plane carrying a total of 40 tons of supplies that was blocked from landing on Sunday morning. Since January 14, Doctors Without Borders has had five planes diverted from the original destination of Port-au-Prince to the Dominican Republic. These planes carried a total of 85 tons of medical and relief supplies.

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U.S. Diverts Spy Drone from Afghanistan to Haiti.

As part of the Haiti relief effort, the U.S. military is sharing imagery from one of its high-end, high-flying spy drones, the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

Sharing imagery from a spy drone may sound like an unusual move, but it’s part of a larger push within the Pentagon to declassify and share imagery in stability operations and disaster relief.

SOUTHCOM, in fact, seems to be taking a page from STAR-TIDES. The command has set up two collaborative portals: One that is accessible to partner nations, international organizations, NGOs and academia; a second, designated “for official use only” (i.e., unclassified, but restricted) that is open to users across the Department of Defense.

Journal: Haiti Rolling Update