Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers

U.S. Marines Headed to Hurricane-ravaged Haiti with Relief

Navy Capt. James Midkiff, commander of the USS Iwo Jima, said the eight helicopters on the ship will start ferrying food and medical supplies for aid organizations upon arrival, which is expected as early as Wednesday

In this Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 photo, Marines and sailors look out to the Atlantic, aboard the USS Iwo Jima, photo: AP/Ben Finley
1 year ago

ABOARD THE USS IWO JIMA — A U.S. Navy warship is bringing hundreds of Marines and sailors, along with power generators, water purifiers and bulldozers, to bolster relief efforts in Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew has left at least 750,000 people desperately in need of assistance.

Navy Capt. James Midkiff, commander of the USS Iwo Jima, said the eight helicopters on the ship will start ferrying food and medical supplies for aid organizations upon arrival, which is expected as early as Wednesday. The Iwo Jima can also provide medical help in Haiti, where hundreds have died, the injured languish unattended in hospitals, doctors warn of a surge in cholera and anger is rising in remote communities still awaiting aid a week after the hurricane struck.

The Iwo Jima is carrying more than 1,100 sailors and 600 Marines, and with them the number of U.S. military personnel in Haiti to provide relieve will rise to about 2,500.

While the Marines and sailors have yet to be given their marching orders about what they will be doing, the plan is to “alleviate some of the suffering that is going on and prevent any additional loss of life,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Hafer, the commanding officer of the Marines’ Combat Logistics Battalion 24.

Matthew has officially left 473 people dead as of Tuesday, according to the National Civil Protection headquarters in Port-au-Prince. But local officials in one southwestern region, Grand-Anse, said the death toll there alone tops 500.

The U.N. humanitarian agency in Geneva has made an emergency appeal for nearly $120 million in aid, saying that about three-quarters of a million people in southwest Haiti alone will need “life-saving assistance and protection” in the next three months.

Speaking from his cabin aboard the ship, Midkiff said the Iwo Jima dodged Hurricane Matthew twice and Tropical Storm Nicole as it collected Marines and supplies and headed for Haiti. The ship left its home port in Mayport, Florida, as the base was being evacuated ahead of Matthew.

“It sounds like I’m making some of this stuff up,” he said.

Tthe Navy then directed the Iwo Jima to Norfolk, Virginia, to pick up some Marines and head for Haiti.

Along the way it encountered the outer bands of Matthew and then the swells from Nicole, which later strengthened into a hurricane. It also collected some Osprey aircraft and more Marines from the USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier whose orders to help out in the storm-hit Bahamas were cancelled. The Iwo Jima will relieve the USS Mesa Verde, another U.S. ship that has been helping in Haiti but needs to prepare for a future deployment.

Standing in one of the hallways of the Iwo Jima, Matthew Estes, a 31-year-old Navy medic from Corryton, Tennessee, said he’s excited to help Haitian civilians who are “devastated down there.”

“Before I left, I was nervous, anxious and overwhelmed with excitement,” he said. “I’m doing the job that I want to do — that I joined to do.”

He was an emergency medical technician in Tennessee as well as a landscaper before joining up.

“My wife was a little upset, but she understands the pick-up-and-go,” he said. “She cried a little on the phone but then texted me and said this is what you joined to do, what you love to do.”

Marine Lance Cpl. Zachary Younts, 20, of Dallastown, Pennsylvania, said he usually works on trucks as a diesel mechanic.

“I hate sitting in a bay working on an engine all day,” he said. “I love this. This is awesome. It gives me a sense of doing something in my career.”

Younts said he’s excited to hand out food to civilians or ship out equipment, whatever is asked of him. He didn’t know he was going to Haiti when he boarded a bus on Friday night from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

“I just knew I was going somewhere,” he said.

Marine Lance Cpl. Shawn Durrell, 20, of Compton, California, said he expects to work hard.

“It’s one of the biggest experiences of my life,” he said. “Not only are we going to a different country, we’re seeing what we can do. And we’re here to help. One of the biggest things in life is to help.”


Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Latest News

Democrat Jones wins stunning red-state A ...

4 days ago

Asian stocks mixed ahead of Fed rate ann ...

4 days ago

NFL Network suspends analysts over sexua ...

4 days ago

Minnesota announces restrictions on usin ...

4 days ago
Most Popular

Energy Secretariat Grants Permissions to ...

By The Associated Press

White House Steps Up Aid for Financially ...

By The Associated Press

Trump Faces Obstacles in Bid to Shake Up ...

By The Associated Press

Brazil's Agnelli, Who Turned Vale Into T ...

By Reuters

SpaceX Targets 2018 for First Mars Missi ...

By Reuters