I'm happy that I still have an Ice Chef :) All is well for the USAP folks that were departing the Ice come the end of the 2010-2011 Antarctic summer season. The question now becomes... what is USAP to do? Should it base it's headquarters out of Auckland, NZ or Sydney, AU now? More importantly, when will the shaking stop?
Posted February 28, 2011 2:10 PM MST from www.usap.gov -
"All U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) personnel believed to be in New Zealand during the time of the Christchurch earthquake have been accounted for and are safe as of 7:34 PM Eastern Standard Time on February 25th, 2011. USAP officials worked around the clock to locate the nearly 600 scientists, support personnel and others who were traveling through the country after leaving Antarctica at the end of the 2010-2011 summer field season. No serious injuries were reported.
Many of the individuals were transported from the Christchurch region to New Zealand’s main city of Auckland on the North Island by the Royal New Zealand Air Force. That included about 200 additional people who flew from McMurdo Station on February 27th and 28th (New Zealand local time) to Christchurch aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 to transport most of the remaining summer crew from Antarctica. A final flight from McMurdo is scheduled for March 5th. A skeleton crew will remain at McMurdo Station through the winter months as part of normal operations and maintenance.
These flights from Antarctica are part of the USAP normal airlift schedule, and were not “emergency” evacuations, as has been reported by some media. Significant break up of sea ice in McMurdo Sound has hampered transportation to the airfield where the snow road is located, but station personnel are working to mitigate impacts."