Following a magnitude 7 earthquake during the evening of 12 Jan 2010, which caused serious loss of life and damage throughout Haiti, a number of nations mobilised relief operations with the USA taking the lead, under its title Operation Unified Response
The initial UK response (under Operation Panlake
) was from the RN Hydrographic Office, delivering updated maritime charts of the area, followed by an assessment team by C-130 on 20 Jan, while RFA Largs Bay was loading up disaster relief supplies at SMC Marchwood
Haitian hospitals were either destroyed or damaged, with the MINUSTAH
UN Mission hospital run by Argentina being almost the only one left operational. The Israelis set up a specialist hospital treating the very young and elderly, while the US Navy despatched USNS Comfort as an offshore hospital. In total, some 60 nations provided assistance to a greater or lesser extent. The Dutch and Colombian navies were also prominent in the relief operation.
The Haitian Government turned over control of the International Airport to the USAF until mid Feb to supercharge movement rates and the Canadians similarly provided control services (under Operation Hestia
) for Jacmel
until mid Mar. Meanwhile the US Navy and USMC concentrated on getting sea ports re-opened.