Hours after the earthquake struck, US President Joe Biden authorized an immediate US response.
The same day, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power announced the deployment of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Haiti.
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"The US Government is coordinating efforts across Departments and Agencies and with international partners and organizations to respond quickly to needs in Haiti," stated USAID in a press release on Wednesday.
USAID’s 97-person DART continues to lead US government response efforts on the ground, working with US interagency and humanitarian partners to save lives and expand relief operations as quickly as possible.
As USAID disaster experts on the DART visit affected communities to determine additional needs and work with partners to deliver aid, the DART’s 65-person urban search and rescue team (USAR) from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is conducting search and rescue operations to locate survivors of the earthquake.
During assessments, the DART’s has observed that food assistance, health care, logistics support, protection, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance as priority needs for the humanitarian response.
Locally-based USAID disaster experts also continue to support local Emergency Operations Centers in Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud and conduct damage and needs assessments in affected towns.
USAID immediately activated these on-call disaster experts following the earthquake to quickly begin conducting assessments and coordinating USAID response efforts with local authorities.
At the request of USAID, the Department of Defense US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) has established Joint Task Force-Haiti and is providing helicopter support and transporting DART personnel and humanitarian supplies to affected areas.
The US Coast Guard has also been providing air transport to move DART members to earthquake affected areas, while also medevacing critically injured patients from affected areas for treatment.
To date, the US Coast Guard has flown 100 sorties and medevaced 202 people.
They have also transported 143 medical and search and rescue staff, including members of the DART, and 6,800 pounds of medical supplies into the area.