“To the people of Haiti, we say clearly and with conviction, you will not be forsaken, you will not be forgotten“. Barack Obama.
Two days have passed since the first massive earthquake struck Haiti. People have been trapped in collapsed buildings for more than 48 hours now and the help just does not seem to be flowing soon enough.
Haiti shares an island with the Dominican Republic, as a result aid must arrive by sea or air. Haitian streets are in poor condition under normal circumstances, and even if aid reaches the Dominican Republic, the road from there to Port-au-Prince is narrow and easily congested.
The airport is wrecked, so are the docks. The roads are crowded with the walking wounded and corpses.
America’s civil aviation authority was forced to halt planes leaving the US for Haiti at the request of the Haitian government because there was no more room for aircraft to land and no fuel for the planes to return.
US officials said Port-au-Prince’s airport was saturated and ground staff could not unload and move supplies into surrounding areas quickly enough to open up more space at the airport.
Among those unable to land today was a team of 35 British rescue workers, including firefighters and doctors from Manchester and Lincolnshire, who spent 30 minutes circling above Port-au-Prince airport and were forced to turn back after they were running out of fuel.
According to reports from The Guardian, the US army and marines are sending some 5,500 troops while more than six US military ships are being sent, including the aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson. Britain, which has also promised £6m in immediate aid, was among a host of countries pledging to send assistance, including China, France, Mexico and Australia.
Many are trying to help; some are making cash donations, some others gather bottled water, medical supplies and food, but at this very hour there is no way of assuring supplies, food and personnel will actually be able to get to the damaged country.
As yesterday, our thoughts are with the people from Haiti and we’re looking forward to hear the logistical issues have been solved and help is flowing smoothly.
If you want to help please follow the instructions of your local authorities or donate in one of the following links:
January 14th, 2010