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Cablegate: Haiti Earthquake Sitrep 2 As of 1900

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPU #0044/01 0140017
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140016Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0202
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE

UNCLAS PORT AU PRINCE 000044

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PINR AMGT HA AID EAID
PGOV
SUBJECT: HAITI EARTHQUAKE SITREP 2 as of 1900

REF: STATE 1321; PORT AU PRINCE 40

1. (SBU) As of the drafting of this sitrep, we continue to
experience severe aftershocks. An initial housing update survey
conducted by the Management section indicates that most Embassy
residences do not have running water or electricity. The status of
one-fourth of the Embassy housing pool is unknown, and it is
estimated that half of Embassy residences are structurally unsound
and uninhabitable. More than a dozen AmCits, including several
TDYers, made their way on foot to the Embassy compound with minor
injuries. Shortly after 17:00 EST, 140 AmCits, including all
non-essential Embassy personnel, were being processed for Directed
Departure to Santo Domingo. Five more AmCits were evacuated on a
second Coast Guard rotary aircraft to Guantanamo with serious
injuries before 14:00.

2. (SBU) All 56 American UNPOL officers are accounted for and
conducting assessments throughout Port-au-Prince. MINUSTAH forces
- both military and UNPOL units - are deployed and visible around
the city. There has been no such response by the Haitian National
Police (HNP), even this afternoon. The few HNP that are on the
streets are in vehicles transporting passengers or possibly
prisoners. According to local press, the National Penitentiary
collapsed. Prisoners are reportedly on the loose. No foot
patrols, check points, nor traffic police have been observed as of
the drafting of this sitrep. Post continues attempting to contact
the Government of Haiti (GoH) Ministers, several of whom are
reported injured by the Haitian press. Ambassador has been unable
to reach any GoH officials by phone. Local press reports indicate
that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, the Agriculture,
Interior, Health, Finance, and Women's Issues, in addition to the
National Customs and Tax Authority have either collapsed or been
seriously damaged.

3. (SBU) MINUSTAH's response has been admittedly been hampered by
the fact that of the estimated 400 UN staff in the Hotel
Christophe, approximately only 50 made it out, leaving very few
senior members, according to MINUSTAH staff member. UN Special
Representative to the Secretary General Hedi Annabi and Principal
Deputy Luis Carlos Acosta are among those unaccounted for. Kim
Bolduc, Country Director for UNDP is acting as the SRSG until the
predicted arrival of Edmond Mulet, former UN Special Representative
in Haiti. MINUSTAH force Commander Floriano Peixoto Vieira Neto
returned on a SOUTHCOM flight and held his first meeting at 4:00pm,
with PolCouns attending. (Note: He expressed great appreciation
for the effort to put him on the SOUTHCOM flight that allowed him
to return directly to Haiti from Miami. End Note.) MINUSTAH
indicated that they have had very little contact with GoH. Preval
stopped by very briefly in the morning to visit injured Haitian
citizens in the MINUSTAH hospital on the grounds, and has made no
contact with them since. No other contact has been made with other
GoH officials. MINUSTAH force commander has requested medical
personnel and engineering support from SOUTHCOM to lift rubble with
heavy equipment in search of survivors. The Dominican Republic has
sent 200 military, 8 large tents, and reportedly has the capability
to serve a large number of hot meals a day.

4. (SBU) According to Gregory Mevs, the owner of Terminal
Varreaux (TEVASA), Haiti's largest private Haitian port, that both
of his piers are damaged and unusable. He also reported that the
public port authority for piers accepting international containers
were also equally damaged, and they may only have one berth
operating.

5. (SBU) PolCouns met with a Dr. Enrique Ginsberg, representative
of the International Medical Surgical Rescue Team based in Florida,
who was at the makeshift staging area at MINUSTAH's airport
logistics base. He was explaining to AmCits and others that they
would be evacuating some people (including AmCits) to Miami or
Jacksonville for medical care. He stated to PolCouns that this
activity has already been coordinated with Washington DC (NFI). He
said that more equipment and the equivalent of a full field
hospital would be arriving tomorrow, January 14.

4. (SBU) USAID/OFDA's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)
stopped in Santo Domingo to refuel at 15:30 and was prepared to
take off, but was denied clearance after being informed that
Toussaint L'Ouverture Airport would no longer accept incoming
flights to Port-au-Prince for the rest of the day. At 16:00 it was
announced on Haitian radio that "the airport was closed to all but
urgent" flights.
MERTEN

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