Airmen Deploy To Aid Earthquake Hit Island Of Haiti





Airmen Deploy To Aid Earthquake Hit Island Of Haiti

By Mike Mitchell

January 14 2010 - On Tuesday a major earthquake hit the island of Haiti, the earthquake reached 7.0 on the Richter Magnitude Scale, and it was Haiti’s most server quake in over a century. The quake hit just before 5 PM, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The quake has destroyed property and it is estimated that over 45,000 people may have lost their lives, the U.S. State Department has been told to expect serious loss of life.   

President Obama has stated he has directed his administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives.  “The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble, and to deliver the humanitarian relief -- the food, water and medicine  -- that Haitians will need in the coming days.  In that effort, our government, especially USAID and the Departments of State and Defense are working closely together and with our partners in Haiti, the region, and around the world”.  

U.S. Southern Command officials have deployed a team of 30 people to Haiti to support U.S. relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake. The team, which includes U.S. military engineers, operational planners, and a command and control group and communication specialists, arrive in Haiti  on two Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft.

A C-130 Hercules, similar to this one, took off Jan. 13, 2010, with a team of U.S. Southern Command officials from Miami to Haiti to support U.S. relief efforts in the aftermath of the Jan. 12, 2010, 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The team, which includes U.S. military engineers, operational planners, and a command and control group and communication specialists arrive on two Air Force C-130s.

The team will work with U.S. Embassy officials as well as Haitian, United Nations and international officials to assess the situation and facilitate follow on U.S. military support. At first light on Wednesday a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter evacuated four critically injured U.S. Embassy staff to the Naval Station Guantanamo, Cuba, hospital for further treatment. Elements of the Air Force 1st Special Operations Wing deployed to the international airport at Port au Prince, Haiti, to provide air traffic control capability and airfield operations. 

A Navy P-3 Orion aircraft from the Forward Operating Location at Comalapa, El Salvador, took off early Wednesday to conduct an aerial reconnaissance of the area affected by the earthquake. The Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, is under way and expected to arrive off the coast of Haiti on January 14th. Additional Navy ships are under way to Haiti.  


An earthquake (also known as a tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are recorded with a seismometer, also known as a seismograph. The moment magnitude (or the related and mostly obsolete Richter magnitude) of an earthquake is conventionally reported, with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground. When a large earthquake epicenter is located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami.

The shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity. In its most generic sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event — whether a natural phenomenon or an event caused by humans — that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear experiments. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter. The term epicenter refers to the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.

Haiti officially the Republic of Haiti is a Creole- and French-speaking Caribbean country. Along with the Dominican Republic, it occupies the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago. Ayiti (Land of high mountains) was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the mountainous western side of the island. The country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince. 

Haiti's regional, historical, and ethnolinguistic position is unique for several reasons. It was the first independent nation in Latin America, the first post-colonial independent Black-led nation in the world, and the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion. Despite having common cultural links with its Hispano-Caribbean neighbors, Haiti is the only predominantly Francophone independent nation in the Americas, and one of only two (along with Canada) which designate French as an official language; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas départements or collectivités of France.

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