Friday, January 15, 2010
From bad to worse in Haiti
If an awful lot of relief supplies don't get handed out in a hurry, things are going to go downhill fast....
Relief convoys are warned to add security to guard against looting as shock gives way to despair and quake survivors grow increasingly impatient for food, water and other aid.
There are only three way in which to deliver large quantities of food, water, and medicine to Haiti....land, sea, and by air. The only land route is over a difficult mountain range from the Dominican Republic on quake-damaged dirt roads. Small convoys might be able to make the trek but they can only carry what would amount to a drop in the bucket of what's needed. Sea deliveries by large ships is very difficult because the shipping docks in Port-au-Prince were heavily damaged in the quake and cannot reliably and safely accept large ships. There are plenty of cargo planes filled with relief supplies(at least when there's space in between reporters and news crews) but, there's only one operational runway and no aviation fuel available. Planes can land but they can't refuel to take off. This has resulted in there not being any room to park any more planes until some others can depart.
They should first land a tanker with av-gas, refuel the empty planes, and get them out of there. Then the US military will have to oversee the distribution of supplies as they come in or there'll be total anarchy and chaos...understandably. These people have been without clean water for several days now....desperation, starvation, and sickness will set in shortly. Then this whole situation will descend from an awful disaster into an unimaginably horrifying disaster.
Food, water, and medicine are the immediate need for the survivors but, what about the people still trapped under the rubble. Most will probably die there as there is no heavy equipment to get them out. Here's a link to the American Red Cross if you'd like to pitch in.