What's Hampering the Haiti Relief Effort

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    San Diego-based ships, USS Carl Vinson, USS Bunker Hill and USS Higgins, are now off the coast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and are reporting back that much of the city's infrastructure has been destroyed.

    Relief workers from all over the world have converged on the Caribbean island that was devastated Jan. 12 by a 7.0 quake centered 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince.

    USS Vinson, which was set to depart for its new homeport here in San Diego last week, was instead sent to Haiti. USS Higgins, based at Naval Base San Diego, was sent to provide afloat logistical services for U.S. Coast Guard helicopters rendering aid there.

    Volunteer Heads to Haiti

    [DGO] Volunteer Heads to Haiti
    Chris Bessenecker, with San Diego-based Project Concern International has a long journey ahead.

    The guided-missile cruiser, USS Bunker Hill, and its crew of around 300 people will join the Nimitz and Higgins to help provide support for military, medical and humanitarian aid teams.

    The commanding officer of USS Higgins said getting supplies to those in need has been challenging because of the damage done to the city's docks and roads.

    "The port itself was wrecked," said Commander Carl Meuser. "The container cranes, the container pier where you would pull a ship in and start offloading material, that just fell into the water."

    The Vinson, Bunker and Higgins will provide support for more than 2,000 Marines going to Haiti from North Carolina to provide support and possibly security. 

    The best way for San Diegans to help victims of the quake is to donate money. Project Concern is collecting donations on its website.

    If you want to help the cause you can text “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross.

    How are you helping the relief effort? Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.