12 January 2010: earthquake in Haiti. The White Crane mission started


The 12 January 2010 Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake. In just one minute the 7 magnitude quake destroyed homes, schools, streets and left behind a trail of devastation and misery.

Nave Cavour, as part of the White Crane mission to rescue the population of Haiti, left the port of La Spezia on January 19 with 882 military including the Task Force "Genius" of the Army and personnel of the Italian Air Force and Carabinieri.

After a stop in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, and one in Fortaleza in Brazil to embark Brazilian civilian and military health personnel (composed of 13 doctors, 14 nurses and a transport helicopter), the aircraft carrier arrived in Port-au-Prince in 11 days of navigation.

In the two months in Haiti, the Cavour aircraft carrier proved to be a flexible tool capable of bringing relief and quickly transferring food and basic necessities, especially in isolated areas cut off from communication roads.

The task of commanding and controlling the entire Contingent was ensured from the ship, providing health care both in the on-board hospital and on the ground in advanced medical posts.

The helicopters on board distributed humanitarian aid to the population and provided logistical support to civilian and military personnel employed on the ground.

From Italy, more than 12 tons of foodstuffs left for the population of Haiti; 36 thousand liters of drinking water were distributed to children in schools, 176 tons of medicines for local health centers.

The on-board hospital assisted and provided medical services to hundreds of patients.

Helicopters made over 60 medical transport flights for a total of about 150 patients rescued.

The Alpini of the Task Force "Genio" worked in 11 construction sites, removing over 12.000 cubic meters of rubble, clearing roads from debris and demolishing unsafe structures.

The doctors of the Army of the "Celio" Hospital worked in the health team of the Cavour aircraft carrier, while the Air Force contributed to health assistance with the personnel in charge of medical evacuation and provided protection to the personnel operating on the ground.

The Carabinieri, as a Military Police, carried out information and legal advice to the commander of the Contingent.

The April 14 ended the "White Crane" mission with the return to Civitavecchia of the Cavour aircraft carrier.

Source: Military Navy