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Cablegate: Managua Sitrep 7: U.S. Relief Tops Usd 1.4 Million

VZCZCXRO7191
OO RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #2117/01 2570116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140116Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1282
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 0126
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0088
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 0348
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 SECTION 01 OF 03 MANAGUA 002117

SIPDIS

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
SOUTHCOM FOR W. LEWIS AMSELEM
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 7: U.S. RELIEF TOPS USD 1.4 MILLION

REF: A. MANAGUA 2102

B. MANAGUA 2070
C. MANAGUA 2059
D. MANAGUA 2044
E. MANAGUA 2032
F. MANAGUA 2026 (NOTAL)
G. MANAGUA 2025 (NOTAL)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On September 13, U.S. SH-60 helicopters
carried out 13 relief flights and delivered nearly 26,000
pounds of relief materials as well as medical and security
personal. The morning of September 14, two JTF-B CH-47
Chinook helicopters will arrive in Managua and begin
operations. The first C-130 Bladder Bird refueling flight to
Puerto Cabezas will commence on September 14. While SINAPRED
still has not developed a comprehensive relief delivery plan,
it estimated that an additional four days of U.S. military
air support may be needed. The Embassy Hurricane Working
Group believes U.S. military assets could be effectively
deployed for an additional four working days with a possible
extension of two days. USAID released an additional USD
241,000 to key NGO partners to fund the purchase and
distribution of additional relief supplies. A key Ministry
of Defense (MOD) contact was fired for saying on the record
that U.S. was the first to respond to the MOD's request for
assistance. END SUMMARY.

CURRENT SITUATION
- - - - - - - - -

2. (U) AFFECTED PERSONS: As of September 12, 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: 73 confirmed dead of which 71 were registered in
the communities of Puerto Cabezas and 2 in Asan; 76 deaths
remain unconfirmed; and 110 persons are missing. PROPERTY
DAMAGE: The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) reported
that 42 health centers were damaged and four destroyed in the
RAAN.

3. (SBU) SINAPRED PLANS DAY-BY-DAY: OFDA/Milgroup team in
Puerto Cabezas reports that SINAPRED still has not developed
a comprehensive relief delivery plan. Instead, it produces a
new 24-hour plan each evening after discussions with disaster
relief officials and OFDA/Milgroup. As a result, U.S.
military planners have been unable to determine the exact
deployment requirements of military assets in country. As of
2100 hours on September 12, SINAPRED estimated that an
additional four days of U.S. military air support may be
needed. (NOTE: In the September 13 Hurricane Working Group
meeting, AMB/OFDA/Milgroup/DAO concurred that U.S. military
assets could effectively be deployed in relief efforts an
additional four working days with a possible further
extension of two days based on SINAPRED calculations. Assets
will continue to be used to deliver food, medicine, and other
emergency relief supplies to remote areas. END NOTE).

4. (U) IN-COUNTRY US MILITARY ASSETS: As of September 13, there were four helicopters in Nicaragua - two SH-60s from the Samuel Roberts running sorties in Puerto Cabezas and two UH-60s from JTF-B in Managua. Depending on weather, the JTF-B helos are scheduled to fly to Puerto Cabezas on September 14 to replace the Samuel Robert's departing helos. In addition, two JTF-B CH-47s are scheduled to arrive in Managua the morning of September 14 to support the Managua-Puerto Cabezas air bridge or distribution efforts from Puerto Cabezas, depending where the need is greatest. The C-130 Bladder Bird will commence fueling operations on September 14 to the FARP stationed in Puerto Cabezas and conduct daily refueling runs. The FARP will enable greater flexibility in the use of the CH-47s, allowing them to be deployed from Puerto Cabezas, if needed.

5. (U) ARMY CONDUCTING INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT: Nicaraguan Army Special Forces are conducting a thorough assessment of the area between Waspam and San Carlos, looking for remote communities that have not yet received emergency aid. Given the difficulty of the terrain and area's remoteness, the army must conduct the assessment by boat and on foot. It expects to have a full assessment completed by September 17, at the latest, but is providing on-going input to SINAPRED as communication networks allow. In response to rumors of previously unknown villages not included in SINAPRED's maps, army officials claim to know all the village locations, but have not been able to reach them as they must travel by foot. (NOTE: SOUTHCOM's Humanitarian Assistance Support (HAST) team assessment concurred that subsequent U.S. relief efforts should focus on the northern border region, from San Carlos to the west. END NOTE).

6. (U) USAID/OFDA COORDINATE WITH NGO PARTNERS: On
September 12 and 13, USAID/OFDA officials met with key
partners including the Adventist Development and Relief
Agency (ADRA), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and PAHO to
discuss on-going and future relief efforts. ADRA has
requested additional air support to deliver supplies while
CRS is increasingly relying on ground transport as roads
become passable and ground transport becomes available. In
addition, on September 13 USAID authorized an additional
traunch of USD 241,000 to NGO partners for the purchase and
distribution of emergency supplies.

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

7. (U) As of September 13, a total of USD 1.42 million in
OFDA resources have been expended in the Hurricane Felix
relief effort in Nicaragua. On September 13, the Samuel
Robert's two SH-60 helicopters carried out 13 relief flights
coordinated as follows:

-- Dakura: Ten flights delivered 41 sacks of split peas, 112
sacks of cereal, 91 sacks of rice and salt and cans of oil
totaling 20,720 pounds. In addition, four doctors and two
police officers were transported.

-- Lapan: Eight rolls of plastic sheeting (1,200 pounds).

-- Isnawas: Two flights delivered 4,000 pounds of emergency good commodities including rice, salt, and water.

PD OUTREACH: AMBASSADOR CONTINUES OUTREACH EFFORTS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

8. (U) Ambassador Trivelli conducted a 24-minute live
interview with Radio Manantial, emphasizing general U.S.
assistance to Nicaragua and highlighting the USD 1.4 million
in relief provided in the wake of Hurricane Felix. Radio
Manantial is the largest and most important radio station in
the Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS). In addition,
the public affairs section issued its fifth press release
since the start of U.S. relief effort 1.5 weeks ago.

9. (SBU) One of the Embassy's few remaining contacts at the
Ministry of Defense was fired on September 12, reportedly
after being cited in a news article as saying "the U.S. was
the first country to respond to the request by the Ministry
of Defense to send assistance." The article, published in
the daily newspaper El Nuevo Diario, was entitled "U.S.
Quickest to Offer Hurricane Help."

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

10. (U) The Samuel Roberts will cease relief operations and
leave Puerto Cabezas on September 14 to be replaced by two
JTF-B UH-60 helicopters. Two JTF-B CH-47 Chinook helicopters
will arrive the morning of September 14 and commence
operations and daily FARP refueling runs will begin, using
the C-130 Bladder Bird.
TRIVELLI

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