News / Americas

    US Marines Join Relief Effort in Haiti, Hospital Ship to Arrive Wednesday

    US Navy helicopter lands next to US troops in front of heavily damaged presidential palace in Port-au-Prince 19 Jan 2010
    US Navy helicopter lands next to US troops in front of heavily damaged presidential palace in Port-au-Prince 19 Jan 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio

    A 2,000-strong unit of U.S. Marines began moving ashore west of Port-au-Prince at dawn on Tuesday to help deliver relief to victims of last week's earthquake.  Some U.S. troops landed by helicopter at the presidential palace, where crowds of Haitians cheered as the troops began distributing aid.  A range of U.S. military efforts are now underway, including airdrops of supplies and the expected arrival of the huge hospital ship the USNS Comfort on Wednesday. 

    With medical teams and mobile facilities from several countries already in place in Haiti, the deputy commander of the U.S. military effort there, Army Major General Daniel Allyn, says American priorities have shifted to delivering vehicles to distribute aid, machinery to produce clean water and equipment to clear rubble and begin reconstruction.  He The U.S. troops are also working with Haitian authorities to re-establish normal production and distribution of water, fuel and other key supplies.

    At the same time, General Allyn says the military units must continue to transport food, water and other critical items that are needed immediately.  "The delivery of capability here in Haiti is a balancing act that requires troops on the ground to distribute humanitarian assistance, the supplies for them to distribute and the mobility necessary for them to be able to reach the communities that are most stricken," he said.

    General Allyn says U.N. and Haitian forces continue to have lead responsibility for security, which he says has been mostly good in very difficult circumstances. "We are watching for signs of instability.  At present, there are pockets in areas of Haiti and the U.N. security forces are working with the Haitian national police to address those pockets as they arise.  And they have been able to effectively deal with them, and we are confident they will continue to do so," he said.

    Allyn says U.S. troops so far are handling security only for their own operations - including establishing facilities on shore near the town of Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince, where a Marine Expeditionary Unit began to arrive Tuesday morning.  The Marines are to distribute aid in the area, and will establish a hub for the distribution of relief supplies elsewhere.  A Pentagon spokesman says most of the Marines will be based on three ships anchored offshore, with a small security force protecting equipment and supplies onshore at night.

    In addition, the U.S. Air Force conducted its first airdrop of supplies on Monday, north of Port-au-Prince, using an aircraft that flew from the United States and returned there after the drop, easing pressure on the Port-au-Prince airport.

    This image taken from video shows relief supplies parachuting from a US Air Force cargo plane flying over Haiti, 19 January 2010 Author: US Air Force
    This image taken from video shows relief supplies parachuting from a US Air Force cargo plane flying over Haiti, 19 January 2010 Author: US Air Force



    General Allyn says such drops will resume on Wednesday.  He says ground troops need to secure drop zones for the heavy pallets of water, food and medicine, and that they need vehicles and other capabilities to secure and distribute the aid. "As our assessment determines that we have a gap between the demand on the ground and our ability to deliver, obviously we then adjust the priority on delivery of supplies coming into the theater [i.e., the area] to ensure what is needed can be met," he said.

    Among those helping distribute and secure the aid are about 1,000 soldiers from one of the U.S. Army's premier combat units, the 82nd Airborne Division.  In all, General Allyn says within the next few days there will be about 5,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Haiti, with another 5,000 on the ships supporting the effort.  Among them, by Wednesday, will be the hospital ship USNS Comfort, which will add 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms and hundreds of medical personnel to the resources available to help the injured.  Allyn says a Colombian hospital ship is also on the way.

    The general also reports smooth operations at the Port-au-Prince airport, which has been under U.S. control since Friday by agreement with the Haitian government.  The Pentagon says the airport is handling more than 100 flights per day, nearly 10 times what it handles normally.  General Allyn says he also expects the seaport in the capital to begin at least limited operations during the next few days to enable delivery of supplies by sea.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Fishermen Protest as Deadly Red Tide Blooms in Southern Chile

    The red tide - an algal bloom - is a common, naturally recurring phenomenon in southern Chile, though the extent of the current outbreak is unprecedented

    Reports: Brazil's Rousseff Faces Additional Investigation

    The investigation is reported to be centered on wiretapped phone calls between Rousseff and her predecessor

    Zika Outbreaks Expected in Large Portion of Americas

    Doctors involved in public health say getting across the message that a mild disease could be devastating to unborn babies is challenging

    Kerry: Countries with No Free Press Have Nothing to Brag About

    ‘No government ... can fairly claim respect if its citizens are not allowed to say what they believe,’ US Secretary of State said in recognition of World Press Freedom Day

    Olympic Flame in Brazil for a 90-Day Relay

    Flame has arrived in Brazil’s capital for 90-day relay around the country before reaching the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for opening of Games on August 5

    Ex-Mexican Foreign Minister Nominated as UN Climate Chief

    Patricia Espinosa, who works as Mexico's ambassador to Germany, won high marks for presiding at annual UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010 when she was foreign minister