Skip to comments.Damaged Haiti port to open in 2-3 days: U.S. commander
Posted on 01/18/2010 1:11:14 PM PST by myknowledge
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - The U.S. military hopes to have Haiti's main port open in two or three days for shipments of emergency relief supplies to earthquake survivors, the American officer in charge of logistics said on Monday.
The Port-au-Prince dock could not receive ships because it was badly damaged by last Tuesday's quake, which submerged the quay and smashed equipment, including the only container crane.
"They have a phenomenal port, which we will get opened in two to three days, and we have a great airfield. My instructions are to move things in as fast as we can," Brigadier General Michael Dana, of the J4 Logistics Directorate, told Reuters.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
“2-3 days? By then, more Haitians would have died from starvation, thirst, disease and looters.”
That’s true. Do you have a solution?
Bush couldn’t create the miracle after Katrina, but Obama can after Haiti? I don’t think so. It all takes time and staging.
Perhaps having preps does pay off.
Haiti has 1, 1970’s era container crane at the port in their capital city??!!
It just shows how backward Haiti is, how little it is linked to world trade (and wealth) and how incompetent their “leaders” are.
Just for comparison, Hong Kong’s main port terminal at Tsuen Wan has itself 80 Euromax container cranes (able to unload the largest container ships in existence).
Glad to see this happening now, but I wish they had made this a point of emphasis days ago.
Also, they need to have already started on getting a massive sea-supplied refugee camp set up. It takes a lot of time and planning to get something like that established. You cannot supply 3.5 million with clean water, food, medicine, sanitation and safety from one Third-World airport, but it can be done from a sea-supplied camp. I have heard and read nothing about any plans for any such camp. If planning didn't start the moment the magnitude for this disaster became apparent, it may come too late to save tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people.
Relief supplies are now being moved in from the airfield. The amphibious assault ships that just arrived have over-the-shore capability and can land supplies on unimproved beaches.
Too many people watch too many movies and TV. Think about the crowd at the average NFL football game, probably 70,000 or so. Imagine trying to provide food and water for that crowd after they had been without for even 24 hours. Add to that the lack of electricity and communications, plus running water and medical care for the those who are injured.
Now, instead of 70,000 make it 3 million. And spread them out over a few hundred square miles with no decent roads to get to them and make about half of them machete-wielding criminals who’ve never played by the rules.
And just for fun, put all the supplies you have to provide for them several hundred miles away by water, and only a single runway to handle the biggest aircraft in the world. A runway that for several days won’t be accessible after dark.
I don’t know of any way to get relief to these people any more quickly than it’s being done right now. As tempting as it is to blame someone it’s far more complicated and challenging than most of us can even begin to imagine.
#1 agreed, I was thing of “Operation Little Vittles” during the airlift where pilots dropped candy. Over three tons of candy were dropped on Berlin, and the “operation” became a major propaganda success. The candy-dropping aircraft were christened “raisin bombers” by the German children. It would take a lot of little parachutes which we don;t have, couldn’t drop a pallet load on someones head.
#2 I expected that since the Dominican Republic doesn’t want a bunch of Haitians flooding in. So no roads built. Shame though. It would seem smart to have a back up plan.
#3 A pontoon bridge would be usefull with some pilings driven in, if there was a raod out of course. Same problem I guess with amphibious landing craft. Piled up on the beach, provisions woudn’t be much good.
#4 If Walmart did have a store there it would have a plan. Best logisitics company in the world.
Thing is, it doesn’t seem we or anyone has a plan for these disasters. We have USNS Comfort, aircraft, ships, etc but how to get it all ashore, or inland, or to the mountains. Are there no secure LZ’s for helos yet? I’m not faulting the guys and gals on scene, just sugesting that we start planning for the next one that is sure to come somewhere too soon.
I initially had a similar assessment as yours, until I began watching videos returning from the area.
In most destroyed bloks, one can pan acreoss the street and see 2 story structures still standing.
In relatively remote areas, people are sleeping outside, but the bulk of site improvements remain in place.
If they are without power, the copper lines haven’t disappeared, they just might not all be OH or UG with full continuity. Whoever owns and operates them can begin to repair them, splicing if need be to re-establish the core infrastructure, even if it be in a core centralized area.
Considering many of the slum areas didn’t have all utilities initially, those inhabitants are also far more adept at living off the land, than might be perceived in American suburbia.
Water and MREs have value, as do a lot of skip loaders, fuel to run them and gensets.
I suspect a budget of $100mil with only $10mil actually seen at the ground level will result in a managable solution.
IMHO, far more interest is going to be placed in how to manage and flow the funding, than actually rendering assistance. There will be enough good Samaritans to handle the image of charity, while the wolves run off with the funds and claim to have delivered a great humanitarian assistance.
"Personnel from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne division were guarding the port facilities, which were an oasis of calm compared to the looting just a few blocks over the perimeter wall in Port-au-Prince's main commercial area."
There were some airdrops of food and water shown on CNN. Looked to be LOTS of parachutes in a single drop. I’m guessing that would be smaller packages so as to avoid a 500 pound pallet of water dropped on someone’s head?
It looked to be into an empty field. Perhaps some craziness ensued post-drop, but at least they got some into an area of need.
I was reading some professional paper on disaster aid, and then saw a World Vision video that seemed to follow that model. WV has some supplies in-country, or is buying them in DR and bringing them over. They then go into a camp and find the local leaders that always rise to the top. A clergyman, business man, something like that.
Then they talk with those leaders to identify the folks with the greatest needs, and get names of those folks. THEN they bring a pickup with supplies near to the camp, and the leader has the pre-picked folks out to get their supplies. Obviously not as fast as dumping stuff out of airplanes - but it works.
I think I read where the military distributed 60,000 meals with water yesterday. That is a huge number. But still just a drop in the bucket with what - 1.5 million affected just in Port au Prince alone?
Yep - those will do the job.