Two Canadian navy ships are setting out from Halifax harbour today to help in the humanitarian effort in Haiti after a devastating earthquake.

The military said yesterday that crew members were readying HMCS Halifax and HMCS Athabaskan to deploy for the impoverished country.

Medical supplies, food, water purification tablets, construction materials and other equipment were being loaded onto the vessels in Halifax.

The frigate Halifax was en route to the Caribbean when it was suddenly diverted back to port.

“There’s lots of good life-saving going on down there right now,” said Capt. Art McDonald. “By the time we get down there we need to be looking at sustaining humanity and helping these people, particularly the ones at risk — the elderly, the young.

“Our key focus initially is on providing the light engineering and medical support, especially light engineering, to enable aid to be delivered.”

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