Monday, April 19, 2010

PLN 25

I read the article “Military Engineers Help Haiti Build Better Future” By Judith Snyderman, what matters is efforts to help Haiti rebuild after a devastating Jan. 12 earthquake will continue after the joint U.S. military task force there winds down at the end of May. Wink witnessed overwhelming scenes of destruction in Haiti when he arrived there Jan. 29. “The amount of rubble that is caused by this earthquake is 25 million cubic yards,” Wink said. “To put that in a picture, that’s five Louisiana Superdomes filled with rubble.” He said. An initial priority for engineers was to assess the main seaport which was heavily damaged. Analysis showed that the port’s north pier was a complete loss, but by the end of February, Seabees and Army divers had repaired the south pier well enough to allow small watercraft to relay critical humanitarian supplies from ships stationed offshore to troops at the pier, who transported them to stranded civilians. By the end of March, the south pier was fully operational, and the port is now being run entirely by Haitian authorities with no Defense Department involvement. Now engineers are focused on mitigating dangers from flash floods and landslides during the upcoming rainy season for people living in camps. I think that they should get a move on to stop the mudslides and building ditches for flood control. These people are dealing with a disaster that is almost unexplainable in U.S. terms. They are living in conditions that are foreign to us. And with a little bit of hope and a little bit of help, they just pick up and move on.

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