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Cablegate: Managua Sitrep 6: U.S. Relief Efforts Continue

VZCZCXRO6648
OO RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #2102/01 2561431
ZNY EEEEE ZZH
O 131431Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1260
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO IMMEDIATE 4735
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 0122
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0084
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 0344
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS E F T O SECTION 01 OF 04 MANAGUA 002102

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN FEELEY AND LERSTEN
DEPT ALSO FOR WHA/FO AND CA/OCS
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USAID/W, USAID/DCHA AND USAID/OFDA
USAID/W FOR A/AID HFORE
USAID/OFDA FOR KLUU, AFERRERA, ACONVERY, RTHAYER, AND
SBISWAS
USAID/DCHA FOR MHESS AND GGOTTLIEB
SOUTHCOM PLEASE PASS TO JTF-BRAVO
SOUTHCOM FOR SCJ3--LTC ALEXANDER
NSC FOR ALVARADO AND TSHORTLEY
SAN JOSE FOR OFDA SENIOR REGIONAL ADVISOR
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
USUN ROME FOR RNEWBERG
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER
ROME PLEASE PASS TO USUN ROME

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV MOPS AEMR KPAO CASC NU
SUBJECT: MANAGUA SITREP 6: U.S. RELIEF EFFORTS CONTINUE

REF: A. MANAGUA 2070

B. MANAGUA 2059
C. MANAGUA 2044
D. MANAGUA 2032
E. MANAGUA 2026 (NOTAL)
F. MANAGUA 2025 (NOTAL)

1. (SBU/NF) SUMMARY. Following the re-activation of the
Samuel Roberts' two SH-60 helicopters on September 10, a
total of 19 sorties have been carried out, delivering relief
supplies, medical supplies, doctors, and security personnel
to nine outlining communities in the Northern Atlantic
Autonomous Region (RAAN). On September 12, Overseas Private
Investment Corp (OPIC) executive Robert Mossbacher, in an
event covered by all national media, signed a memo of intent,
extending an additional USD 7 million to rebuild homes in the
affected areas. Over the past two days, Spanish and
Venezuelan air support has delivered nearly 70 tons of relief
supplies from Managua to Puerto Cabezas. A Dutch ship
containing some 200 tons of relief supplies arrived in Puerto
Cabezas on September 11. U.S. military assets are expected
to continue operations for the next several days, primarily
in Puerto Cabezas. END SUMMARY.

CURRENT SITUATION
- - - - - - - - -

2. (U) AFFECTED PERSONS: As of Monday evening, September 10,
the GON was reporting the following data regarding the human
impact of Hurricane Felix. Affected persons: 162,373 in the
municipalities of Puerto Cabezas, Waspam, Rosita, Bonanza,
and Alamikamba in the RAAN and in the departments of Nueva
Segovia and Jinotega; 136 people have been rescued.
CASUALTIES: 67 confirmed dead of which 65 were registered in
the communities of Puerto Cabezas and 2 in Asan; 76
unconfirmed deaths; and 110 persons are missing. PROPERTY
DAMAGE: 16,633 houses damaged (9,864 destroyed and 6,769
without roofs); 153 buildings and 12,072 latrines sustained
partial damage. WELLS POLLUTED: 9,010.

3. (U) RETURN OF DOD ASSETS: Since sitrep 5, US SOUTHCOM
re-activated two SH-60 helicopters to distribute relief
supplies from Puerto Cabezas to outlying communities in the
region. The SH-60s carried out nine and ten sorties on
September 11 and 12, respectively.

4. (SBU/NF) SINAPRED UNCOOPERATIVE: OFDA/Milgroup team in
Puerto Cabezas was denied access to the SINAPRED planning
meeting on September 11. On September 12, Ambassador raised
the issue with Foreign Minister Santos, who, within minutes,
called back to report that President Ortega had given an
order to allow OFDA/Milgroup to participate all appropriate
planning meetings. (NOTE: SINAPRED postponed the regularly
scheduled evening planning meeting for September 12. It is
unlikely the meeting will be rescheduled for September 12.
END NOTE)

5. (U) SUPPLY SITUATION IN MANAGUA: A snapshot assessment showed no backlog of supplies in Managua. However, the Nicaraguan military logistical coordinator in Managua indicated that SINAPRED has another 500 tons of supplies in a storage facility outside the airport, but was uncertain about SINAPRED's deployment plans for the supplies. He indicated that an additional C-130-equivalent aircraft is essential to guarantee the continued smooth flow of supplies to the Atlantic Coast.

6. (U) SOUTHCOM ASSESSMENT TEAM RETURNS TOMORROW:
SOUTHCOM's second assessment team flew to Puerto Cabezas on
the afternoon of September 12 and will return to Managua on
September 13. Subsequent U.S. military asset deployment
plans may be adjusted based on the team's assessment.

USG PLANNING AND RESPONSE
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

7. (U) Over the past two days, U.S. relief efforts have
concentrated on the redistribution of supplies from Puerto
Cabezas to the remote communities in the region. The
distribution effort was coordinated as follows:

September 11:

-- Sahsa: Six doctors from Accion Medica and the Nicaraguan
Ministry of Health (MINSA) and 600 pounds of medical
supplies. A second flight carried 20 rolls of plastic
sheeting.

-- Colombo: Three flights provided a total of 19 sacks of
rice, 6 sacks of split peas, 29 sacks of cereal, 23 cans of
oil, and 7 rolls of plastic sheeting.

-- Dakura, Pahara, Awastara: Nine Nicaraguan security
officers replaced officals in place since the hurricane made
landfall last week.

-- Lapan: Two flights delivered 10 sacks of rice, 3 sacks of
split peas, 17 sacks of cereal, and 12 cans of oil.

September 12:

-- Suina: Military personnel conducted aerial damage
assessment.

-- Lapan: Four MINSA doctors and 600 pounds of medical
supplies.

-- Sumubila: Four MINSA doctors.

-- Awastara: Three flights delivered 47 sacks of rice (5,300
pounds).

-- Prinzubila: Two flights delivered 3,500 pounds of
emergency good commodities including rice, salt, and water.

-- Isnawas: Two flights delivered 3,500 pounds of emergency
good commodities including rice, salt, and water.

PD OUTREACH: OPIC SIGNS USD 7 MILLION FOR RECONSTRUCTION
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

8. (U) On September 12, OPIC executive Robert Mossbacher
signed a memo of intent with BANCENTRO to add USD 7 million
to an existing USD 30 million agreement to rebuild houses in
the hurricane affected areas. The event was well-covered by
all Nicaraguan national media. In addition, the Embassy
issued a Spanish press release highlighting the deal.

9. (U) Following the signing, Mossbacher and the Ambassador met with President Ortega and the First Lady at the FSLN Secretariat. They discussed the OPIC deal and briefed Ortega on the status of US hurricane relief efforts, calling attention to the USD 1.4 million in disaster assistance the U.S. has delivered thus far. Separately, Embassy press officer Kristen Stewart briefed most national media about the OPIC / BANCENTRO deal and the USD 1.4 million in disaster assistance.

FOREIGN GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE: DUTCH, SPANISH, AND VENEZUELANS DELIVER AID
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

10. (U) The Dutch-flagged ship Pelican arrived in Puerto
Cabezas on September 11 carrying 300 tons of food with one
helicopter on board. Supply offload will begin on September
13.

11. (U) Nicaraguan military officials in Puerto Cabezas
reported that a Venezuelan ship is en route, but do not know
the name of the ship nor its contents.

12. (U) On September 11, a Venezuelan C-130 airlifted 8,800
pounds of food and mixed supplies from Managua to Puerto
Cabezas. A Spanish C-130 airlifted an additional 60,600
pounds of relief supplies to Puerto Cabezas and a Nicaraguan
AN-26 airlifted a further 8,800 pounds of relief supplies to
PC.

13. (U) On September 11, two MI-17 Venezuelan helicopters
arrived in Managua and deployed to Siuna to assist with
distribution of supplies to isolated communities northeast of
Siuna. Further, one UH-1 helicopter from Honduras arrived in
Puerto Cabezas on September 11 to join the delivery effort.

LOOK AHEAD - JFT-B OPERATIONS CONTINUE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

14. (U) JTF-B commander arrived on September 12 and will
deploy to PC on September 13 to resume command of U.S.
military relief operations.

15. (U) On September 13, JFT-B plans to deploy Forward Aeriel Refuel Point (FARP) to Puerto Cabezas to support PC-based UH-60 helicopter operations over the next few days. On September 13, C-130 Bladder Bird is expected to arrive in PC and have FARP established on September 14. The CH-47 helicopters are also expected to arrive in Nicaragua on September 13 to assist as needed with delivery efforts.

TRIVELLI

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