US organizing American evacuations from Haiti by helicopter as number of those seeking help nearly doubles

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The State Department said Wednesday it is organizing American evacuation flights out of Haiti as the number of U.S. citizens seeking assistance in the Caribbean country, which has been overrun by violent gangs, has nearly doubled. 

State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a briefing, “As of March 20th, the U.S. government is facilitating the safe departure of U.S. citizens from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.”

“We are in the process of organizing government-chartered helicopter flights from Port-au-Prince to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, where U.S. government personnel are present to provide consular assistance. And from Santo Domingo, American citizens will be responsible for their own onward travel to the United States,” he continued.

“So, for operational security reasons – and they are ongoing, I don’t want to speak with greater specificity – but we do expect these helicopter movements to make multiple trips in order to try and get as many American citizens as we can today while also continuing to look at what options might be available for reoccurring movements in the days ahead and even beyond,” Patel added.

FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN HELPS 13 MORE AMERICANS ESCAPE HAITI, SWIPES AT BIDEN ‘PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT’ 

Damaged car in Haiti neighborhood

People walk past a damaged car in the Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood, which was deserted due to gang violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on March 19, 2024. (Reuters/Ralph Tedy Erol/TPX Images of the Day)

He also said the number of Americans who have filled out a form on the State Department’s website seeking assistance in Haiti is “approaching 1,600” after saying that number was around 1,000 earlier in the week.

COUNCIL FORMS TO NOMINATE NEW HAITIAN LEADER AS GANG VIOLENCE CONSUMES NATION 

Alleged gang leader in Haiti

Ezechiel Alexandre, alleged gang leader of Baz Pilat, gathers with residents in the Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood, which was deserted due to gang violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on March 19, 2024. (Reuters/Ralph Tedy Erol)

“Some are interested in exploring departure options. Some just want to stay in touch with the United States of America or the embassy,” according to Patel. “Some want expertise or advice on how they may be able to remain safe and others may not be in a place for safe departure now but may be down the line.” 

Americans evacuated from Haiti

Rep. Cory Mills says he has helped 13 more Americans escape Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince. (Rep. Cory Mills)

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The planned evacuations come after Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., said Tuesday that he helped another 13 Americans escape Haiti following an extraction of 10 Americans last week.

Fox News’ Gillian Turner contributed to this report.

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