News / USA

US Launches Major Response to Haiti Earthquake

Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of U.S. Southern Command, takes a question during a Pentagon news conference on earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti, 13 Jan, 2010
Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of U.S. Southern Command, takes a question during a Pentagon news conference on earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti, 13 Jan, 2010
Meredith Buel

The United States has launched a major civilian and military response to the massive earthquake in Haiti, which has flattened buildings in much of the capital, and left a devastating toll of death and destruction.  We have details of the American rescue and relief effort in this report from Washington.

The emergency response is being led by U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, who says the immediate objective is to save lives following the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

"We are working aggressively and in a highly coordinated way, across the federal government, to bring all of the assets and capacities we have to bear to quickly and effectively provide as much assistance as possible," said Rajiv Shah. "The goal of the relief effort in the first 72 hours will be very focused on saving lives."

Shah says disaster relief teams are assessing the damage, identifying priority sites and will direct the efforts of two search and response teams trained to rescue victims trapped by the rubble of buildings that collapsed during the quake.

"Both are units with 72 individuals, people who have significant training and significant equipment and technical capacity to conduct search-and-rescue in urban settings, to drill through and clear, as much as is possible, rubble, in order to try and identify individuals that can be saved and continue with the mission of saving lives," he said.

The U.S. military is sending teams in C-130 aircraft for the immediate relief mission.  The initial deployment includes engineers, communications specialists and units to secure and operate the airport in Port-au-Prince. 

The head of U.S. Southern Command, Air Force General Douglas Fraser, says Navy and Coast Guard ships carrying helicopters that can be used in rescue missions are on the way.

"They have limited humanitarian assistance supplies on them, but they have some vertical lift capability, some helicopters with them," said General Fraser. "In addition, we're moving the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson from Norfolk to the vicinity. It will take on a complement of helicopters as it proceeds. And we're hoping to have that in the vicinity of Haiti tomorrow afternoon.

General Fraser says thousands of troops, including a contingent of U.S. Marines, may soon be sent to assist with disaster relief and security in Haiti.

"The ship that I was talking about where there may be is a large deck amphibious ship," he said. "That's another day or two away. And so, it will have a standard Marine Expeditionary Unit. Don't tie me to this precise number. It's roughly 2,000 Marines potentially on there. But we're still determining that right now."

Fraser says the amphibious ship has a significant medical capacity to help treat survivors of the earthquake. 
 

You May Like

US States Where Women Work for Free

Women earn less than men in all 50 states More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows Fight to Death Against IS

In wide-ranging interview, Fuad Masum describes new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs