A disastrous 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Saturday, followed by a tropical storm, slowing rescue and recovery efforts. According to The Associated Press, there are more than 1,400 dead and as many as 6,000 injured.
The tropical storm left behind more damage with intense rainfall and driving winds. The US military is providing additional forces to bolster its response to aid the mission.
On Tuesday, the Navy deployed the USS Arlington with Marines aboard a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. The warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. Plus, of the two cutters already on scene, the US Coast Guard deployed seven more.
In addition, eight Air Force and Army helicopters from Joint Task Force Bravo are also deploying to aid the relief efforts. These choppers are based in Honduras.
According to a Joint Task Force Bravo, the helicopters (three CH-47 Chinooks, three UH-60 Black Hawks, and two HH-60 Pave Hawks) arrive Wednesday. They will help deliver supplies and support relief efforts.
As of Tuesday, August 17th, the US Coast Guard has rescued 51 people. The service has delivered 5,500 pounds of medical supplies for the 6,000 people injured.
According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the quake, aftershocks, and landslides caused more than 700 buildings to collapse. Hospitals and schools have also collapsed.
The infrastructure damage is challenging relief efforts. It is difficult to get to the people who need help and gather information from the damaged areas.
“The US military continues to provide unique air, medical, logistical, and engineering capabilities in support of USAID and their Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance… the [USAID is] leading this effort. We are supporting them to help save lives and alleviate human suffering in these critical early stages of a disaster relief operation,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby
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