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DHL Disaster Response Team supports the eartquake response operations in Haiti and Santo Domingo (January/February 2010)

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, on Tuesday 12th January 2010. The capital Port-au-Prince, was heavily affected. The DHL DRT (Disaster Response Team) Americas, based in Panama, got immediately ready for deployment, and started operating out of Toussaint L’ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince within 48 hours. The DRT, composed of 10 DHL volunteers, was the first logistics team at the airport. With so many shortages, security and logistical challenges, the DRT’s skills at managing aid were sorely needed. More than 500 tonnes of relief goods were handled and temporarily stored by the DRT within the first week.

One week after the earthquake, the main DRT operations moved from Haiti to the Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Until the end of January 2010, a team of five DHL volunteers continued to unload humanitarian aid flights bringing drinking water, medical supplies and other aid, in close cooperation with several relief organizations. In particular, the team managed a 3,000 square meter warehouse used to store and sort incoming aid on behalf of non-government organizations (NGOs).

Then the DRT returned to Port-au-Prince to support several NGOs until 6th February 2010. During the three phases of their deployment in response to the Haiti earthquake, 36 volunteers handled more than 2,000 tonnes of relief aid.