At the Jamaica Defence Force base at the Port-au-Prince airport, the team awaited the arrival of supplies from Jamaica and a convoy to take them to the hospital facility to which they were assigned. Two such facilities were set up in the crushed city, Dr Shane Alexis said.
On the ground, the team discussed steps that had to be taken to contain possible disease outbreaks under the very grim circumstances.
Just as the medics were to be deployed, the already battered nation took two aftershocks in quick succession, giving the team a taste of what was to come. With regularity, aftershocks rock the rubble that once was homes, commercial enterprises and offices. Over 30 such episodes have occurred since Tuesday’s massive 7.0 earthquake.
The Jamaican soldiers, camped next to the German contingent at the airport, up to Saturday were still in the process of making the area habitable as they dug in for what appears to be a long haul. Engineers most of them, the soldiers have been playing their part in the rescue effort even while setting up their base. “Bodies are rotting, eyes are falling out, skins are peeling, and yes, there are children out there,” Lieutenant Kanien Smith said, explaining what they saw on the streets of Port-au-Prince. He said further that there had been a great deal of activity over the past days to clear the city centre, but things were moving slowly along the outskirts.