Page last updated at 03:07 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Haiti earthquake maps

To find out how governments and aid agencies have been getting relief supplies to earthquake victims, click on the pictures on the map below. haiti rescue


strong buildings image

Airdrops allow food to be given out without having to land the aircraft. The US Air Force C-17 planes involved in the first airdrop came from a base in North Carolina and dropped 14,000 meals and 15,000 litres of water in a secured area 5 miles north east of Port-au-Prince. The problem with airdrops is that without proper control on the ground there may be rioting as people fight over supplies.


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Port-au-Prince airport is small, damaged and congested and lacks the warehouses needed to store all the aid before it can be distributed. The US has been managing the airport and has established a slot system to maximise its capacity. About one hundred flights a day are landing there, but there have been reports of disputes between countries and agencies about who gets priority for landing their planes.


lifting equipment image

It takes 18 hours to travel the 160 miles from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to Port au Prince. The route is very congested with people trying to leave Haiti and relief supplies trying to get into the country. Bottlenecks due to relief traffic have been causing delays of up to an hour at the border crossing point and disorganised relief efforts were further hampering operations. A field office has been set up at Jimani for the transfer of supplies into Haiti. A fleet of 30 long haul trucks was secured in Santo Domingo on Monday 18 January. Distribution points are being set up within Haiti to ensure aid reaches all the outlying population centres.


listening for survivors image

Port-au-Prince harbour was badly damaged in the quake and it may be many months before it's fully operational again. US divers have been surveying the harbour and and will begin a salvage operation to remove underwater debris. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will serve as a "floating airport" for relief operations with 19 helicopters on board. Other US ships have been deployed carrying medical staff and equipment, as well as troops and relief supplies. Other supplies may be diverted to ports further north, such as Cap Haitien, Saint Marc and Gonaives.


The USS Carl Vinsen

The USS Carl Vinson is moored off Port au Prince. It is carrying 19 helicopters and will act as a floating airport, ferrying supplies and troops to and from the island. Some of those injured in the earthquake have also been treated on board the ship. Other US ships are being deployed to Haiti, including the hospital ship USS Comfort. Others will bring helictopers capable of lifting heavy loads, trucks and other equipment needed to begin repairing the island's infrastructure.

Three million people are in need of aid, according to the Red Cross, and so far some 14,000 ready-to-eat meals and 15,000 litres of water have been dropped north-east of the capital, Port-au-Prince, by the US military.

With the reported number of homeless people varying from 200,000 to 1.5 million, tents are in huge demand.

UK-based ShelterBox is among those distributing non-food packs. The boxes, which cost £490, contain equipment to shelter 10 people and provide other basic living equipment.


Shelter Box
1. Plastic container box
2. Collapsible water carrier
3. Ten-person dome tent
4. Multi-fuel stove
5. Ten sleeping bags/blankets
6. Tools for rebuilding
7. Cooking utensils
8. Children's school supplies
9. Small tools and rope
10. Groundsheets
11. Waterproof ponchos
12. Collapsible water container
13. Water purification tablets
14. Two mosquito nets


The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that water tanks are being set up across Port-au-Prince, with a further 120,000 bottles of water supplied to the city's main hospital.

High-energy biscuits, seen as the most effective way to feed people with no access to cooking facilities, have also arrived in Port-au-Prince.

Ready-to-eat meals (MREs), similar to those supplied to the US military, are being dropped in the region by the WFP.

The packs contain main meals such as beef stew, chicken noodles or spaghetti, along with crackers, spread, biscuits, condiments and saline water. Each pack contains about 1,200 calories.

As the name suggests, they are ready-to-eat but they can also be heated up by submerging in boiling water or using the flameless heater provided in the pack, which works by using a chemical reaction to create heat.

The WFP hopes to have sent 10 million food packs to Haiti by 25 January.

Back to more Haiti earthquake coverage.

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