My team and I have been closely monitoring the situation in Haiti since the devastating earthquake hit the capital, Port-au-Prince, last night. With most communications infrastructure down, it meant we had a long night waiting for information that beyond sketchy news reports. Since this morning, we have been in talks with the United Nations (under serious stress themselves since their office in Port-au-Prince has collapsed, with 15 staff members dead and 20 still missing) and the local Red Cross Chapters to gain a further understanding of the impact on animals caught up in the situation. Our Disaster Liaison Officer from Panama, Jorge Alcidez Gonzalez who also works as the Head of the K9 unit of Civil Defence, is now travelling out of Panama with a team of specially trained veterinary staff to assess the destruction and welfare needs of the animals. Jorge and his brave team will be treating animals as soon as they are on the ground. They have told me that they will carry veterinary supplies to treat any injured animals that they come across. I have also arranged for him to feedback the extent of the damage and where we can be of most help, as quickly as possible. Do look out for more updates from us, as we relay on the information we get from Jorge and the rest of the team. Considering the troubled security situation in Haiti at the best of times, my primary concern at the moment is Jorge’s safety; we will be paying particular attention to this in the next couple of days while planning our disaster relief operation in greater detail. Report by Gerardo Huertas - Disaster Operations Director
An earthquake of magnitude 7.0 shook the nation of Haiti on January 12, near the capital of Port-au-Prince. The damage is severe, and high loss of life is expected. Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States are working with other animal welfare and humanitarian organizations to determine how best to assist animals and people affected by the disaster. We have offered our support in providing care to affected animals and will post updates as they become available.
IFAW’s Emergency Relief team is on high alert to help in Haiti after a devastating earthquake struck near the capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12. As always with disasters like this, the humanitarian rescue efforts will be the focus in the first week or so. The immediate priorities will be getting food, clean water, shelter and medical attention to the survivors. After those immediate human needs are met, IFAW's Emergency Response team will be ready to assist the animal victims in any way that we can. In the meantime, please keep the people and animals of Haiti in your thoughts.