An earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck Haiti on Tuesday, 12 January at 17:00 local time and hit the capital Port-au-Prince seriously affected the cities of Carrefour and Jacmel. At the time of writing this appeal, no official information on the extent or level of damage is available, though initial reports indicate as many as 3 million people could be affected by this massive earthquake. Critical city infrastructure such as electricity, water and phone services have been cut or interrupted. Many buildings have collapsed or damaged including the Presidential Palace and hospitals. The most urgent needs at this time are search and rescue, field hospitals, emergency health and psychological support to the affected population, water purification, emergency shelter, logistics and telecommunications.
Red Cross Actions
The International Red Cross has released an emergency response fund of HK$3.75 million to support the relief operation and deployed assessment and response teams with international expertise in disaster relief, shelter, logistics, health and medical care, telecommunications, water and sanitation, restoring family links, as well as dead body management to Haiti. About 3,000 pre-positioned family kits including hygiene materials, kitchen sets, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans and buckets are available for immediate distribution. All Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS) volunteers who have survived the earthquake are currently assisting the affected people along with International Red Cross in Haiti.
On 14 January (HKT), the International Red Cross launched a preliminary emergency appeal for Haiti, for approximately HK$75 million on relief operations for 9 months. The funds will provide more than 100,000 most affected people with essential non-food items such as personal hygiene parcels, family kits, water purification tablets, temporary shelters as well as emergency medical services.
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