Haiti Plans to Relocate 400K Homeless
US military works to repair capital's damaged port
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2010 7:38 AM CST
A large tent city has been set up for people displaced by the earthquake at the Petionville Club, at Delma 40B, in Port Au Prince, Haiti, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.   (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin, Sun-Sentinel)
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(Newser) – Haitian officials are planning a massive relocation of 400,000 people from makeshift camps to the outskirts of the capital as the US government tackles repairs to the damaged main port—dual efforts to help residents survive the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake. The plan to temporarily relocate thousands is aimed at staving off the spread of disease at hundreds of squalid settlements across the city where homeless families have no sanitation and live under tents, tarps, or nothing at all. Mass relocations could start by the end of the month.

The US Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, meanwhile, are looking to repair the Haitian capital's only functional industrial pier using underwater construction teams and Navy divers. Only four ships have been able to dock at the partially damaged pier since the earthquake. Unloading is lengthy and difficult because 15-inch wide cracks run through the dock, allowing only one truck to drive on it at a time. The damage is so extensive that the military has no way of telling how long it will take before ships can dock and unload in large quantities.