October 7, 2016 / 4:55 PM / in 9 months

U.S. Navy ship steaming towards Haiti to support relief efforts

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Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessels take refuge from Hurricane Matthew at the U.S. Navy's Truman Harbor pier in Key West, Florida. Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The USS Mesa Verde, a U.S. Navy amphibious transport dock ship, is steaming towards Haiti to support relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew killed more than 500 people and left thousands homeless in the Caribbean country, the Navy said on Friday.

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A Navy spokesman said the ship would bring a large set of capabilities, including three CH-53 heavy lift helicopters, bulldozers and fresh water delivery vehicles. The ship can produce 72,000 gallons of fresh potable water per day and is stocked with pallets of food, medicine, baby formula, diapers, first aid supplies and other key items.

The ship has a surgical team which can work out of two operating rooms on board.

Reporting by Phil Stewart

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