A logistical nightmare

The world is putting together relief supplies for Haiti, but getting it there continues to emerge as a daunting task. The port is ruined, making traffic via ship difficult. The airport is closed, making supplies by air problematic.

Air-traffic-wise, this time-lapse of air traffic under control of U.S. controllers paints a bleak picture.

The Department of Defense reports the 82nd Airborne has landed on Haiti, but with few vehicles at this point.

The Red Cross is stockpiling supplies in Panama, but so far none are getting to Haiti until the airport opens for relief supplies, according to the Red Cross.

“It’s going to be extraordinarily difficult,” Brian Atwood, the dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, said. “I suspect that they’ll have to be using a lot of helicopters and other things to get into some of these remote areas. This has affected probably three million out of the nine million people of Haiti. I can’t tell you how devastating this is to a very, very poor country, whose infrastructure was very bad in the first place, which is why the devastation is always worse in a country like that.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press has just released this unedited video:

  • David W.

    Can ports in the Dominican Republic be of any use to land supplies by sea and then transport them by truck to Haiti?

  • Bob Collins
  • Heather

    Well if WE can think of it, and the MEDIA can think of it, why is it taking so long? And what will it take to get the airport open? The port looks like a longer-term project…

    My heart aches.

  • bsimon

    “Well if WE can think of it, and the MEDIA can think of it, why is it taking so long?”

    Good question, but keep in mind we don’t know that aid agencies haven’t thought of it.

    Seems there is a similar option for the air angle. Get one tanker in there, clear out the planes that don’t have fuel to leave then stage flights to & from Port au Prince through the Dominican Republic. Or do triangular flight plans: US to PaP to DR for fuel to return to the US.

    Given how its looking, a berlin airlift style effort may be necessary in coming days. From NPR this AM, water is a growing short-term concern, which would be an astronomically expensive thing to fly in, but if that’s what it takes…

  • Bob Collins

    They don’t have much choice but to wait for the military since it’s going to require a transportation infrastructure.

    I was thinking of the Berlin Airlift too. Frankly, sending a few planes over to make some noise alone would probably lift some spirits so people realize they haven’t been forgotten. It certainly has to seem that way to them at the moment.