HAITI EARTHQUAKE EPICENTRE
INDICOMM SECURITY TEAM
OLD HAITI TELECOM BUILDING
At 16:53 local time on Tuesday 12 January 2010, an earthquake of catastrophic magnitude hit Haiti, causing major damage to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the surrounding region. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake, and at least 220,000 people lost their lives. The Haitian government estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings collapsed or were severely damaged.
To make things worse, the island lost its communication channels with the outside world: no international telephone system, no internet, no possibility of commercial aircraft landing. All they had was UHF radio. For those people delivering and expecting humanitarian aid, this was very bad news. Something had to be done quickly, and it was Indicomm who came to the rescue.
Because of their established reputation in the subsea market, Indicomm were asked if they could take on the job of restoring communications to the island. An initial survey revealed the extent of the devastation: key buildings, including the communications landing station, had been flattened. It was a huge challenge, but one that Indicomm were happy to take on, particularly since they knew that restoring communications would make a massive difference to the humanitarian aid effort.
The solution the Indicomm team came up with involved creating a new landing station in a building 3kms away from the original one, and from there putting in communication lines to other standing buildings, so they could be used by humanitarian organisations.
The day after Indicomm restored connectivity, the humanitarian aid programme started to undergo a transformation, with bigger aircraft in and out, carrying desperately needed supplies. What's more, the world now had a better picture of what was happening in Haiti, and the aid agencies could tell people all over the world what they needed in the way of food, medicines, clothing, building materials, and so on.
This was a project that the Indicomm team were proud to be a part of. Their technical skills and hard work behind the scenes, away from the main headlines, had given the people of Haiti new hope.MORE NEWS
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Amongst the widespread devastation and disruption throughout Port-au-Prince and elsewhere, vital infrastructure necessary to respond to the disaster was severely damaged or destroyed. This included all hospitals in the capital; air, sea, and land transport facilities; and communication systems in the main, the BDSN submarine cable facility itself was completely destroyed.
The team assigned to protect the engineers working in very difficult conditions in Haiti. IndiComm is proud to have been involved in the reconnection of Haiti, this will allow full connectivity to the world’s communication systems, and this in turn will enable a faster response for all the NGO’s working in Haiti on the disaster relief programme.