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Cablegate: Tfha01: Embassy Port Au Prince Earthquake Sitrep As of 1800,

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPU #0074/01 0220334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220332Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0243
INFO HAITI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE

UNCLAS PORT AU PRINCE 000074

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PINR AMGT HA PGOV AID
EAID
SUBJECT: TFHA01: EMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE EARTHQUAKE SITREP as of 1800,
Day 9

1. (SBU) Summary: Money transfer companies begin to deliver
remittances. Ten thousand refugees camped on the Champs de Mars,
with help from France and the U.S. Road congestion is reduced on
the road corridor between the DR and Port-au-Prince, but travel
time is still lengthy. The business community asked MINUSTAH to
provide security for reopened factories, and pledged to re-open in
weeks. The military estimates that the main port will operating at
full capacity in six to eight weeks, and a private port says it
will open in 10 days. All military and civilian hospital
facilities in the Port-au-Prince area are filled with quake
victims. End summary.

CITY RESIDENTS BEGIN TO HAVE ACCESS TO FUNDS

2. (SBU) Some money transfer companies opened today, with huge
crowds in front of several sites. These companies are the primary
conduit for remittances sent to Haiti from the Haitian Diaspora
abroad. The crowds were orderly and no MINUSTAH or PNH security
were present. Banks plan to open January 23 and will allow
withdrawals up to USD 2500 for essential purchases only.

10,000 REFUGEES CAMPED ON THE CHAMPS DE MARS

3. (SBU) On January 21, Ambassador Merten visited the Champs
de Mars (the main avenue and park area adjacent to the Presidential
Palace and Port-au-Prince's equivalent to the Washington, DC mall)
with French Ambassador to Haiti Didier Le Bret and JTF Haiti
Commander General Ken Keen. The Champs de Mars now houses
earthquake refugees numbering approximately 10,000. The French and
U.S. Governments are providing resources and supplies to improve
conditions in this temporary community in the historic heart of
Port-au-Prince. Ambassador Le Bret praised U.S. relief efforts and
told Ambassador Merten that the French Embassy's efforts could not
succeed without U.S. support. Merten assured Le Bret that U.S.
support will continue.

ROAD CONGESTION REDUCED BETWEEN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND
PORT-AU-PRINCE

4. (SBU) The manager for the shipping company transporting
relief supplies by land to Port-au-Prince from the Dominican border
reported that traffic congestion on the route improved today. On
January 20, the trip took five hours, and now it requires three.
Normally, it is a one-hour trip.

PRIVATE SECTOR REACHES OUT TO GOH, MINUSTAH

5. (SBU) The private sector reinforced its message of getting
back to business in meetings with President Preval and UN Special
Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Edmond Mulet on
January 20. Business leaders met with Preval to express their
support for his leadership and the GOH in its relief, recovery, and
rebuilding efforts. They also met with SRSG Mulet to request
MINUSTAH's help in maintaining security for their businesses.
Businessman Richard Coles spoke on a radio broadcast and discussed
the business community's plans to re-start and re-create the jobs
lost due to the earthquake, particularly in the textile industry.
Coles told EmbOff that he hopes the GOH and the Haitian population
will realize they have the full support of the Haitian business
community. Garment factory owner Alain Villard, who lost up to 500
workers under one of his factories that collapsed, told EmbOff that
he could re-open his factory next week. However, Villard requires
assistance retrieving remains and clearing debris from the building
site. Rebuilding this factory would re-employ 500 to 1500 people
in long-term jobs, according to Villard. Andy Apaid, who owns six
garment factories, said that he expects to re-open his factories by
the end of next week.


MAIN PORT TO OPEN IN SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS

6. (SBU) The military unit responsible for re-constructing
and reopening the main port in Port-au-Prince estimated that it
would be restored to full capacity within six to eight weeks. The
private Terminal Vareaux estimated that will be operational in 10
days.

LA GONAVE ALSO SUFFERING

7. (SBU) A helicopter from the Carl S. Vinson visited the
island of La Gonave on January 21 and found a village with 1,000
people without fuel or food. The aircraft distributed food and
water to them and evacuated three patients for medical treatment.
Food distribution went off without a hitch, with local residents
organizing distribution of the aid among themselves. This again
confirms that social structures in the countryside are still
intact.

ALL MEDICAL FACILITIES FILLED WITH QUAKE VICTIMS

8. (SBU) The military reported that all of its medical
facilities, including its ships offshore, were full with quake
victims. The Ministry of Health told the military to cease
transporting patients to other hospitals outside of Port-au-Prince
because, according to the Ministry, all of the country's hospitals
were full.
MERTEN

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