U.S. Response to Haiti Earthquake Disaster

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 18, 2010
U.S. Troops Distribute Water in Port-au-Prince

White House Press Briefing by Conference Call on Relief Efforts in Haiti

Today, the White House Office of the Press Secretary released an update on the U.S. government response to the Haiti earthquake disaster. The text of their release follows.

On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. President Obama has promised the people of Haiti that "you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten." The United States Government has mobilized resources and manpower to aid in the relief effort. Below please find some key facts and examples of government actions to date.

All numbers below are accurate as of noon Sunday, January 17, 2010.

AIRPORTS AND AIRSPACE * The airfield is open for 24/7 operations and has a 100-aircraft per day capacity, this is an increase from yesterday's 60 aircraft per day capacity.

* The airport has received more than 600 short tons of supplies.

* USAF air traffic control and airfield management personnel continue to manage air operations at the airport with approval of the Government of Haiti.

* There are 30 military helicopters providing relief to the people of Haiti.

* These helicopters are operating out of nine landing zones, including five drop-off points.


* Approximately 5,800 military personnel on the ground or afloat.

* Approximately 7,500 additional military personnel are expected to arrive by 1/18.

* More than 1,000 personnel from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Haiti on 1/16.


* More than 250 HHS medical personnel have arrived in Haiti.

* 2 planeloads of medicine, medical equipment and supplies from HHS have arrived in Haiti with a third expected to arrive today.

* 3,840 hygiene kits taken from USAID stockpiles in Miami have arrived.

* The USNS Comfort is currently underway and expected to arrive on 1/20 with 600 medical personal on board.


* As of 0900 a total of 1,760 American citizens have been airlifted out of Haiti.

* USAID/DART reported that a U.S. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team had rescued an additional three individuals at the Caribbean Market.

* As of 0900, U.S. USAR teams have rescued 26 individuals.

* There are currently six U.S. USAR teams operating in Haiti along with 21 international USAR teams from around the world. US teams are based out of Fairfax VA, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL (two teams), New York
NY and Virginia Beach VA.

* Each USAR team includes approximately 70 team members.


* U.S. military aircraft have airlifted 130,000 humanitarian daily rations and more than 70,000 bottles of water to Port-au-Prince.

* Three water purification units are operational and can supply 180,000 liters per day.

* USS Carl Vinson continues to provide potable water production.

* U.S. military aircraft will continue to support the delivery of an additional 600,000 daily rations over the next several days.

* Six additional water purification units are scheduled to arrive in the coming days from USAID stockpiles in Dubai. Each unit provides 1000,000 liters of safe drinking water serving 10,000 people per day.

* 12,000 water containers have arrived from Miami.

* Yesterday, the U.N. World Food Program distributed high-energy biscuits to a total of 50,000 people.

* The World Food Program Port-au-Prince metropolitan areas schools feeding program is no serving hot meals to 50,000 affected people.

How to Help Support Relief Efforts

* Contribute online through ClintonBushHaitiFund.org.

* Text "QUAKE" to 20222 to charge a $10 donation to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (the donation will be added to your cell phone bill).

* Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information.

Get Information about Friends or Family

The State Department Operations Center has set up the following phone number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747 (due to heavy volume, some callers may receive a recording).

You can also send an email to the State Department: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov. Please be aware that communications within Haiti are very difficult at this time.

More about the crisis: state.gov/haitiquakeHow To Help:Center for International Disaster Information | Clinton Bush Haiti Fund | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red Cross | Text Donation



Florida, USA
January 17, 2010

M. in Florida writes:

Great work. I just hope that if the Haitian government take too long that you guys take over, there is too much at stake. Please try to get supplies to the south Les Cayes, Jacmel, Leogane, Petit Goave. Jacmel has a small airport and is a port city. Port City of Miragoane can serve as ways to get stuff to the south and up to P-A-P from the south. Once Again THANK YOU

Donald M.
Virginia, USA
January 19, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

1 18 10

Haiti reminds me of the story when the Jews left Egypt, God promised them the holy land as it is written in the Bible under the Commandments. God's Commandments not peoples politics. Upon arriving the the new land which had been promised there was NO food. Moses asked God for a blessing. Then God started raining down Manna which is food grown on trees. The wind blew in this food to feed the people. The moral of the story is maybe the relief effort can consider dropping the food packages over the rural areas for the people to get the food. Praying for rain and help would be a good thing for those people. God tests everyone on earth, in times of trouble, in times of greatness, in times of disasters. Fear not if the Lord is with you during your hour of need. The Lord thy God is the lighthouse, a true guiding light, once saved your burden becomes weightless and focus is solving problems.

Then the Lord said to


"Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily."

a. Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you: The blessing of bread from heaven came with the responsibility of obedience. This responsibility would test Israel and measure their obedience.

. Murmuring Israel called this bread from heaven "manna" (Exodus 16:31). God almost always called it bread from heaven (Nehemiah 9:15, Psalm 78:24 and Psalm 105:40) or sometimes it was called angels' food (Psalm 78:25).

Listen to these words Call out to the Lord and he appears. He is the almighty and will guide you on the path. I have been personally saved many times, survived earthquakes, floods, fires, and continue to believe in ONE GOD who knows all, hears all, sees all and can heal all, like Jonah being trapped in a whale, we all have stories or what some call near death experiences in life. I thank God for everyone that is participating in the rescue effort of Haiti and I can only hope and pray the Island becomes cleansed and revitalized with fruit and Joy, the re-creation of the Island, restart of its communities and above all to find peace and happiness for all its citizens.

The water needs to be pure and clean filtered, or people will become sick.

Godbless and lets hope more can be saved!!!

Jennifer A.
Florida, USA
January 18, 2010

Jennifer A. in Florida writes:

I am glad that you are helping. I can only imagine the chaos going on in Haiti at this time.

Massachusetts, USA
January 18, 2010

Stacy in Massachusetts writes:

Thanks to the State Dept./USAID for all they/you are doing.

Virginia, USA
January 18, 2010

Jack in Virginia writes:

I applaud the United States' response to the Haitian earthquake. We've responded quickly, decisively, and are reintroducing the world to American leadership.

Yet, I am worried.

We can provide immediate comfort and shelter to the people of Haiti, but we can't afford to lead this effort for long. It seems that this tragedy could give the United States an opportunity to lead in the short term term and hand over responsibility to our regional partners in the long term. Our financial situation at home and military commitments in other parts of the world make it problematic for us to lead in the long term.

The time is ripe for countries like Canada to step up and take the lead. Nations that chose not to participate or have withdrawn their participation in places like Iraq and Afghanistan are in a perfect position to commit resources to this humanitarian disaster.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton should engage regional leaders and convince them play a leading role.



Pierre S.
January 18, 2010

Pierre S. in Haiti writes:

Please help found my uncle who's stock under the rubbured I'm A. Soifils an agent of NYPD SSA in NY city we are desperatetly need your help

Brian C.
Pennsylvania, USA
January 18, 2010

Ari C. in Pennsylvania writes:

Dear Sec. Dr. Clinton, Team Obama et al,

Greetings on MLK Day 2010.

I, Dr. Brian Ari Cole, MD (a former crusie ship doctor) wonders if we could have 21-33 cruise ships go to Haiti as temporary housing for women and children (male children up to 16) for several months...Their housing, food, shelter and health clinics could be there to help 100K + in greatest need- INDEED, AMEN.

Keep the crew, and divert them from Holiday Travels in the region by Executive Order...the need is dire and requires extreme measures.

G-d Bless,

Dr. Brian Ari Cole, MD, MPH, MPA/MC
Team Cole for 2016

Emily N.
Kentucky, USA
January 18, 2010

Emily N. in Kentucky writes:

I would like to know how to adopt adopt a child from Haiti

Florida, USA
January 18, 2010

Marial M. in Florida writes:

Thanks for all your help to the poeple in Haiti god will bless all of you and god see what you do wing to help others keep you guys in my prayer for all the military people god bless

New York, USA
January 18, 2010

Ron in New York writes:

We see a Breakthrough of AID and caring taking hold....Here; we are giving all support, money and deepest prayers...Haiti is one of world's worst catastrophes, and a global response is underway...Together we can do it!

Joseph A.
Oregon, USA
January 19, 2010

Joseph A. in Oregon writes:

I know every one on the planet and around the globe has had some constructive and critical criticism,especially on the distribution of supplies and the medical teams to the most affective areas in Port-au-Prince. I would like to share my thoughts and pose my question. Why hasn't anyone within the U.N., USAID or the U.S. contacted the Cuban government for medical teams and medical assistance? They are in close proximity, they have some medical teams already in Port-au-Prince and they are able to move quickly with first class field medical units and set up immediately.

They need an alternate staging area for medical personnel & supplies; I recommend the Northern Port and establishing an alternate airfield in the Dominican Republic, near the Port-au-Prince area. Yes, shuttle in medical supplies, medical teams and much needed food and water, via helicopters from the Dominican Republic, in addition to the greatly clogged-up Port-au-Prince airfield.

New Hampshire, USA
January 18, 2010

Rourke in New Hampshire writes:

To DipNote, the State Dept., and the rest of the US Government responsible for humanitarian operations in Haiti: I support you! I've already donated $20 by donating to the 90999 HAITI texting fundraiser, and I plan to donate more directly soon. I'm very pleased that our government is responding to this humanitarian crisis in a proactive, positive way. The more I read about the situation in Haiti, the more I support it.

Brian C.
Pennsylvania, USA
January 19, 2010

Dr. Brian A.C. in Pennsylvania writes:

Dear State Department Colleagues, Sec. Dr. Clinton and Team Obama et al,

Earlier today I gave a "BandAid" answer to some of the Haitian problems today. Use 21-33 cruise ships and keep the women and children (males upto 16) on ships at sea for a short while. This is a temporary answer and me and my colleagues in Central Pennsylvania have several other ideas that may help long term:

1) Since the Dominican Republic's government and daily functions of life are so stable, Ask the Haitian Government to cede sovereignty and nearly all government functions and Aide Monies to the D.R. as a "CommonWealth" of the Dominican republic, ASAP!

2) Via economic carrots encourage all Caribbean contires to absorb all willing and distresses Haitians into their citizenry.

3) Since almost all Haitians ancestors came from Africa, maybe a "African Homecoming" may be best. Thru inducements, maybe a Western African Country will sell to the UN a 10 mile X 10 Miles coastal section of land in the Ivory Coast, per se, that could become the "New Haiti" in Africa and be re-settled, ASAP. A ship back home to mother Africa?

4)Encouragement of more Volunteer Orgs, like "Habitat for Humanity" and more citizen and student volunteers this coming summer with Tax Credits, Tax Exemptions and State Colleges' Tuition Waivers?

Mazal Tov,

Dr. C. (R-PA)

January 19, 2010

Mac in Australia writes:

It's great to see the USA assisting these poor people.


Bettina D.
West Virginia, USA
January 19, 2010

Bettina D. in West Virginia writes:

I am seeing that the water, food and medicine and medical care is not getting in there fast enough and it appears you are now overly concerned about safety and the top priority needs to be saving lives. Drop lift supplies should be done even if rioting occurs as some lives would still be saved. Use small vehicles like jeeps to get the supplies out rather than trying to just get supplies in with large vehicles. I can't believe this is not being done. Helicopter doctors and nurses in for gods sake! Use common sense!

Mira B.
Illinois, USA
January 19, 2010

Mira B. in Illinois writes:

While it is impressive how many Americans are being airlifted out of Haiti and how much is being done, why is our control of the airport in Haiti not allowing more doctors and small portable medical units into the country? Why do we see the same images day after day in the Capitol with that poor Doctor from CNN trying to treat so many people without enough supplies and help on Day 7 of this disaster? Why did we turn away two planes from "Doctors Without Borders" but let a Governor in and out of Haiti in a day? The US has had experience with Hurricane Katrina, we should be better and smarter at getting simple help to these suffering people who are dying stupid deaths. If there is a good reason why things appear to be moving so slowly and the TV images are barely changing but seem to be getting worse with no Haitian presence and no police presence, get that out to the public, ASAP! Maybe people should only donate to organizations who can get real help on the ground quicker in a disaster like this.

Eric P.
Ohio, USA
January 20, 2010

Eric P. in Ohio writes:

I scraped up 8 dollars for Haiti, and donated it to the Red Cross. What the US is doing for Haiti here blows my mind. Keep up the good work for the Haitian people. I love my country for helping out, especially on such a large scale.

North Carolina, USA
January 21, 2010

SWLefevre in North Carolina writes:

I have been amazed with your updates in Haiti, but wondered if you are able to get to Rue Monsiegner Guilloux in Port Au Prince.

We have friends and my mother-in-law in that area, and they have not received food or water thru the organizations that are there on the ground. When they go to one of few stores that is open, the prices have gone up on rice & beans.

Please help them.

Florida, USA
January 22, 2010

Koy in Florida writes:

i'm a us resident and i have my son in haiti ,and i would like to know what can i do to get him here even if temporarely i just dont want him to suffer please help me he's only 3 years old ,i dont him to get sick

Chrissie R.
North Carolina, USA
January 22, 2010

Chrissie R. in North Carolina writes:

Plese accept me.I want to go and help. I'm 100% healthy, active and want to donate my time. I already own a passport as well.

Ellen H.
Oregon, USA
January 25, 2010

Ellen M. H. in Oregon writes:

Please keep the rescue effort at the Hotel Montana in Haiti going until after Saturday. My friend Walt R. from Washougal, Washington is still missing there.


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