817.48 Earthquake of 1931/53: Telegram

The Minister in Nicaragua (Hanna) to the Secretary of State

Swift arrived noon today. At a conference of all committees this afternoon a central relief committee was appointed as follows:

Honorary Chairman, President Moncada; Chairman, American Minister; members, Colonel Fred. L. Bradman, U.S.M.C., Brigade Commander, Colonel Dan I. Sultan, Commanding U. S. Army Engineers, and the following representing the Nicaraguan Government: Anastasio Somoza, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, and General Calvin Matthews, Commanding Nicaraguan National Guard. Mr. Swift left off committee at his request.

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President Moncada has appointed local relief committees in nearby cities and towns who have instructions to cooperate with the Central Committee.

About half the population of Managua has been evacuated to other places. Steps are being taken to follow these persons up with necessary relief measures. In addition to the food shortage caused by earthquake and fire there is a general food shortage in the country following a severe drought of several months’ duration. It is possible that eventually measures must be taken to relieve this general food shortage.

It is hoped that water will be placed in Managua mains within 10 days. In the meantime an adequate supply of drinking water is available.

General health conditions are good. Fire is still raging but is being kept within bounds by U. S. Army engineers.

Eight thousand refugees were fed by Marines on La Loma Field yesterday and seven thousand today.

Government is making arrangements to move capital to some other city yet undetermined.

Please repeat to Red Cross.