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Earthquake in Haiti. A Spanish hospital ship left for Petit-Goave…

(BRUSSELS2) A Spanish ship (the Castilla) left its base in Rota (near Cadiz) bound for Petit-Goâve on the Haitian coast, 70 km from Port-au-Prince and a British Auxiliary Ship of the Royal Navy will also leave these days for Haiti. They thus complement the European effort. Three ships are already at work in Haiti: the Dutch Hs MS Pelican, French Batral Francis Garnier and TDC Sirocco, already hard at work.

Castile is a Spanish amphibious assault ship.
On board: 423 soldiers – 192 sailors, 37 from the helicopter unit, 165 marine infantry soldiers, 22 sailors in charge of landing craft and 7 reconnaissance divers – as well as 27 doctors and nurses. On the spot, il will have three main missions:
1) heal the inhabitants of this city
of 120.000 inhabitants. « At least 500 injured are currently without treatment according to the Spanish minister, Carme Chacon, who was present at the departure of the ship.
2) Ensure a supply of drinking water.
3) Clear the main access routes and buildings in danger. This mission is part of the European effort requested by the UN to
which one coordinating team will be set up.

The Castilla is specially equipped.
It has in particular:

– a field hospital, qualified Role 2, with 8 intensive care units, an x-ray room, two operating rooms, a dental office and 70 beds.


– 4 helicopters: one Sikorsky SH-3D and three Agusta Bell AB-212 helicopters, with pilots and maintenance personnel, to allow evacuation of the injured, aerial reconnaissance, security and surveillance flights.

– an engineering unit – equipped with excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks, etc. – which provides capacity to clear debris and reopen roads.

– a drinking water production unit, thanks to two portable water treatment plants with a capacity of 500 liters per hour (24 tonnes per day), a 10.000 liter flexible platform water tank and three deposits 5000 liters each.

– a unit of landing craft allowing materials to be brought as close as possible to the coast.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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