Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Port at Port au Prince

This is a follow-up from yesterday's blog post. I hope to find a way to add images to this post.

Another of the many problems of getting supplies and rescue equipment to Port au Prince has been the damage to existing, minimum port facilities. I'm going to look at those today.

There are several areas that contribute to the overall port operations for Port au Prince, stretching from the Cite Soliel area to the north to the petroleum pier in Carrefour to the west. These facilities consist of:

  • a limited-use T-head pier in the Cite Soliel area. There doesn't appear to be any damage to this site.

  • a concrete wharf and pier forming a "U" north of the La Saline area. This facility also has an unbroken pipeline, and can offload petroleum products. There appears to be minor damage to a large building near the pier, but not to the pier and wharf themselves. There is an offloading crane at the wharf, although its operational capacity isn't known. The petroleum storage yard to the southeast appears to be intact.

  • the port facilities at La Saline, which appear to be moderately to severely damaged, and will require extensive clean-up and repair before it can be used. There are several ships docked here, but don't appear to be doing anything. The wharf at the container port shows extensive signs of damage. There are a half-dozen sunken ships in the area, some being used as mooring platforms. There are a half-dozen containers in the water near the wharf.

  • the main container port near the city center, which is badly damaged. The concrete aprons around the facility are extensively cracked and broken. The wharf itself slopes down into the water, and a few containers have tipped into the water. There appears to be some subsidence in the area, with several areas that appear to have subsided as much as ten feet. Two cranes are in the water, including the main container loading/unloading crane. There is at least one truck in the water, and three or four additional goods containers.

  • the city's main commercial pier, which appears to have suffered little or no damage, but appears to have limited capacity.

  • a small pier about two miles west of the downtown area that appears to be undamaged, but capable of being used by small vessels only.

  • a pier on the eastern edge of Carrefour that appears to be totally delapidated, with four sunken ships nearby. There is another pier nearby to the west that can probably service small boats.

  • a tanker pier that appears to have suffered moderate damage. There doesn't appear to be any leaking at this pier, or at the petroleum storage area nearby. The petroleum power plant nearby appears to have suffered little or no damage. There are several buildings in the general area that were totally destroyed.

  • a probable petroleum-only pier due north of the center of Carrefour that appears to be serviceable. There was a major pipeline spill from this area, probably from the pipe from the pier to the petroleum storage area to the south. Spilled petroleum can be seen on the beaches for four or five miles to the east and west of the pier. There is considerable damage to the support structure, and many damaged or destroyed buildings and homes nearby.

  • what appears to have been a pleasure pier to the west of the petroleum pier listed above, which has suffered moderate to severe damage, and is probably unusable even for small boats.
The nearest other commercially viable port in Haiti is at Miragoane. The date of the most recent imagery for this port on Google Earth is 2005.

Tomorrow I'll discuss the airport, and why bringing in relief supplies through that facility was so limited>


Blogger Alaska Paul said...

Very informative, Old Patriot! Thank you for the good report.

11:27 AM  

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