The Airbus Helicopters Foundation has provided support to ongoing humanitarian relief operations in the small island nation of Dominica, in the Caribbean, which was recently hit with heavy rainfall and mudslides in the wake of tropical storm Erika.
Chartering an H120 helicopter from Martinique-based operator Héliblue Helicoptère, the Foundation has been able to support assessment flights over the island in partnership with the Red Cross. Volunteers are still working tirelessly in Dominica to provide support for the more than 300 people evacuated from the storm’s path.
“Thanks to the support of the Airbus Helicopters Foundation, we have been able to identify specific areas where our help is the most needed and where we have to focus our efforts,” said Stephen Omollo, Head of Strategic Partnerships and International Relations. “We are also able to better quantify the number of people in need, which is invaluable for our humanitarian response.”
Following initial flights in the H120, aid workers have been able to identify that some 8,000 people are without water, which represents nearly half of the entire island. At the moment, nine areas have been classified as special disaster areas and multiple health centres are no longer operational. The Red Cross is continuing its efforts to provide relief to those in need and will perform additional flights according to the needs of relief organizations on the ground.
“In times of need, helicopters play a vital role to assess the situation and to provide the aid needed for those affected by the tragedy,” said Guillaume Faury, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation and CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “With the help of our local customers, the Airbus Helicopters Foundation is able to fulfil its mission of supporting the ongoing rescue operations in the area.”