HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Jan. 19 (UPI) — Two Canadian warships arrived off the north and south coasts of Haiti early Tuesday and began sending crews of 100 ashore to collect bodies and clear roads.
The HMCS Athabaskan was off shore from Leogane, a devastated town west of Port-au-Prince on the north coast, while the HMCS Halifax dropped anchor off Jacmel, a town of 40,000 on the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean island’s southern coast.
The two ships left port in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Thursday with “limited amounts” of relief supplies aboard, but both will go to Kingston, Jamaica, every six days to resupply, Capt. Art McDonald told an embedded reporter with The (Halifax) Chronicle-Herald.
Another 1,000 soldiers based in Quebec were flown to Port-au-Prince and will work with the naval teams in distributing supplies, recovering bodies and clearing debris, the report said.
The ships are posted to the mission indefinitely, military officials said.
Also Tuesday, International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda announced the federal government had allocated an additional $80 million to relief efforts, bringing the commitment up to $135 million, the Canwest News Service reported.
Private donations have so far surpassed $30 million, the report said.
As many as 200,000 people are feared dead as a result of Tuesday’s magnitude 7 earthquake that completely flattened some towns and did catastrophic damage to Port-au-Prince.
Copyright 2010 by United Press International