First Charter Flight With US Citizens Fleeing Haiti Lands in Miami

MIAMI — A charter flight carrying dozens of U.S. citizens fleeing spiraling gang violence in Haiti landed Sunday in Miami, U.S. State Department officials said.

More than 30 U.S. citizens were on the government-chartered flight, officials said in a statement. It arrived in the Miami International Airport after the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince earlier this month urged U.S. citizens to leave “as soon as possible” as chaos grips Haiti.

Haiti’s main airport in Port-au-Prince remains closed following gang attacks that have raged through Haiti for weeks, pushing many people to the brink of famine. Government and aid agencies this weekend reported looting of aid supplies as the situation worsened.

The State Department announced Saturday that it would offer limited charter flights for American citizens from the less chaotic northern city of Cap-Haïtien.

Officials said they could not provide ground transportation to Cap-Haïtien and that U.S. citizens should consider the charter flights “only if you think you can reach Cap-Haïtien airport safely.”

“We encourage U.S. citizens still in Haiti who seek to depart to contact the Department of State using the crisis intake form on our website if they have not already done so,” the agency said.

People taking the U.S. government-coordinated flights must sign a promissory bill agreeing to reimburse the government.

The State Department said government officials in Miami were helping the newly arrived evacuees to determine their next steps.

The U.S. military last week flew in additional forces to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy, which is in a neighborhood largely controlled by gangs.

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