Humanitarian Assistance: 50 U.S. Troops Provide Aid to Panamanian Flood Victims
SOTO CANO AIR BASE, HONDURAS - Approximately 50 U.S. military personnel from Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, deployed to Panama as part of a humanitarian disaster task force, at the request of the Panamanian government through the U.S. Embassy in Panama, to provide assistance to Panamanian civilians affected by recent flooding.

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, HONDURAS Aca,!" Approximately 50 U.S. military personnel from Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, deployed to Panama as part of a humanitarian disaster task force, at the request of the Panamanian government through the U.S. Embassy in Panama, to provide assistance to Panamanian civilians affected by recent flooding.

The task force is providing airlift support, delivering supplies such as food, water, personal hygiene packages and mattresses to people in the affected region: the city of Colon and surrounding areas of the Departments of Colon and the Comarca of San Blas (Kuna Yala) in northern Panama and in northern areas of Cocle Province.

Aca,!A"As it stands we have delivered more than 20,000 pounds of supplies donated by USAID {the U.S. Agency for International Development} and SINAPROC {the National System for Civil Protection}, and we will continue throughout the day,Aca,!' said U.S. Army Capt. Dominic Trippodo, the Tactical Operations Officer-in-charge of U.S. operations at the Panama Emergency Operations Center, the staging center for all disaster relief efforts. Aca,!A"We are here to help, and our teams are prepared to do whatever we can Aca,!" be it through continued airlift support, search and rescue missions, medical assistance, casualty evacuations, and data collection on damaged areas.Aca,!'

When they arrived Sunday afternoon, Joint Task Force-Bravo personnel were greeted by SINAPROC representatives and several other Panamanian government officials, who offered a situational update.

According to officials, the recent heavy rains have affected more than 2,500 people; eleven have died, one is still missing, nearly 1,300 have been displaced and injured, and more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Additionally, there are still some communities in the area with which Panamanian government agencies have no contact.

U.S. personnel will continue operations over the next 48 hours from Panama EOC which is located at the former Howard Air Force Base.

Page last updated Wed November 29th, 2006 at 12:24