Updated Mar 18, 2024 - World

First charter flight with U.S. citizens evacuating Haiti arrives in Miami

 Marie Lucie St. Fleur, left, sits in the Arrivals area after arriving on the first evacuation flight out of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, that landed at Miami International Airport on Sunday, March 17, 2024.

Travelers' arrival at Miami International Airport after flying on the first evacuation flight out of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, on Sunday. Photo: Carl Juste/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The first charter flight carrying dozens of U.S. citizens escaping violence in Haiti arrived in Miami on Sunday.

The big picture: The travelers arrived from Cap-Haïtien one day after the U.S. State Department announced plans for the flight from the port city following an emergency declaration by Ariel Henry, who has resigned as prime minister, due to gang violence.

  • The State Department has issued a "do not travel" advisory for Haiti and is urging American citizens to leave the Caribbean nation due to the violence that has prompted the U.S. and other countries to evacuate nonessential embassy staff from the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Details: A State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement over 30 U.S. citizens were on the charter flight and that government officials were assisting the U.S. evacuees in Miami.

  • "We are examining options for departures out of Port-au-Prince and will inform U.S. citizens about them as soon as we are able to safely and securely arrange them," the spokesperson added.
  • "U.S. citizens are not required to register their travel to a foreign country with us, so we cannot track with fidelity how many U.S. citizens are in any particular country," said a spokesperson to ABC News, noting the "fluid and quickly evolving situation" in Haiti.

What they're saying: Avlot Quessa, who lives in Boston and who was visiting his mother in Haiti when the violence unfolded, told the Miami Herald after arriving back in the U.S. that it's "very stressful" to see his homeland "going through this act of violence, destruction."

  • He added: "It's just terrible. The suffering, you can only imagine."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comments from the State Department.

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