Andy, Sarah, and Estelle arrived in Santo Domingo today. Glen comes in tonight. The taxi ride from the airport to the downtown hotel was a hoot. It would appear that in this city of 200,000, they have no traffic lights and no stop signs. There aren’t even any yield signs. This does not deter the crossing of 4 lane highways in the least. All the drivers seem to know how to avoid other moving cars within an inch without missing a beat.
Eric remains stuck in Miami as the cargo carriers did not have room for our GPS equipment today. We also have temporarily lost contact with our Haitian colleagues. These are big problems. We have 3 GPS sets with us here in Santo Domingo now complete with 3 batteries thanks to the fabulous efforts of Estelle and Sarah in the marketplace without a translator! In theory, we could start making measurements as soon as we make it to Port-au-Prince. We were very tempted to cross the border anyway and head for the Port-au-Prince airport – which we are told is safe – but without contact with our Haitian colleagues to meet us, we have decided it is too risky. This is especially unfortunate as we had a really good ride all set up. We will wait here in Santo Domingo at least until we can re-establish contact with our Haitian colleagues.
We met up with 2 more of our US colleagues for dinner and to pow-wow on logistics, Paul Mann from the U. of Texas and Rich Koehler from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources in Fairbanks. They are trying to work out logistics to fly a helicopter along the fault to see if they can find any surface rupture. So far no one has found any surface ruptures, but there are no geologists currently on the ground in Haiti (though Roger Bilham has taken several helicopter rides in to look at the fault: http://cires.colorado.edu/~bilham/HaitiPassword.html). We were at least able to hook up Rich with our ride, so he’ll head in tomorrow. In the mean time we saw some of the historical sights in the Dominican Republic on the way to dinner (picture above). Let’s see what tomorrow brings.