Hawaii Response to Haiti Quake Possible

January 12, 2010, 4:24 PM HST · Updated January 12, 4:27 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Hawaii crews are beginning early preparations in the case they are called to assist following a major earthquake in Haiti.  The 7.0 quake struck at 11:53 a.m. HST about 10 miles SW of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

The quake did not generate a widespread destructive tsunami and any threat to Hawaii was quickly dismissed; however, there was a small tsunami wave measuring at 12 cm, crest-to-trough that was recorded at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, and a tsunami less than 1 cm crest-to-trough recorded on a deep ocean gauge in the east-central Caribbean.

Officials with the 70-member Hawaii Disaster Medical Assistance Team (Hawaii DMAT) say the team has not been placed on alert, but that preparations are underway should the headquarters in Washington DC request assistance.  The Hawaii team is a component of the federal National Disaster Medical System and consists of physicians, nurses, paramedics and other medical, public health and logistics personnel capable of providing medical services.

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Although an immediate response is unlikely, team members have been advised of the situation.  There are other Central and East Region teams that are on-call and closer to the event than the Hawaii team.

Early reports indicate damage to structures and infrastructure with an unknown death toll.

(Placeholder image courtesy:  Embassy of Haiti, Washington D.C.)

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