Stunning recovery: Haitian girl pulled from debris
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- French rescuers pulled a
teenage girl -- very dehydrated, with a broken left leg and
moments from death -- from the rubble of a home near the
destroyed St. Gerard University on Wednesday, a stunning
recovery 15 days after an earthquake devastated the city.
Darlene Etienne was rushed to a French military field
hospital and then to the French military hospital ship
Sirroco, groaning through an oxygen mask with her eyes open
in a lost stare.
"She's alive!" said paramedic Paul Francois-Valette, who
accompanied her into the hospital.
Authorities say it is rare for anyone to survive more than
72 hours without water, little alone more than two weeks.
But Etienne may have had some access to water from a
bathroom of the collapsed home, and rescuers said she
mumbled something about having a little Coca-Cola with her
in the rubble.
Her family said Etienne, 17, had just started studying when
the disaster struck, trapping dozens of students and staff
in the rubble of school buildings, hostels and nearby
"We thought she was dead," her cousin, Jocelyn A. St.
Jules, said in a telephone call with The Associated Press.
Then -- half a month after the earthquake -- neighbors on
Wednesday heard a voice weakly calling from the rubble of a
private home down the road from the collapsed university.
They called authorities, who brought in the French civil
Rescuer Claude Fuilla then walked along the dangerously
crumbled roof, heard her voice and saw a little bit of
dust-covered black hair in the rubble. Clearing away some
debris, he managed to reach the young woman and see she was
alive -- barely.
"She couldn't really talk to us or say how long she'd been
there but I think she'd been there since the earthquake. I
don't think she could have survived even a few more hours,"
Digging out a hole big enough to give her oxygen and water,
they found she had a very weak pulse. Within 45 minutes
they managed to remove her, covered in dust. Fuilla said
she was rescued from what appeared to be the porch area of
the house, but a neighbor said he believed it was the
shower room, where she might have had access to water.
"It's exceptional. She spoke to us in a very little voice,
she was extremely weak," Fuilla said. "Before we stabilized
her she was extremely dehydrated and weak she had a very
low blood pressure."
Another rescuer, French Lt. Col. Christophe Renou, said he
had no idea how she had managed to cling to life for so
long: "Definitely she's been here for 15 days. She wasn't
hurt but she was very, very weak."
Renou said his team would probably return Thursday with
radar equipment to look for any other possible survivors.
French Ambassador Didier le Bret praised the persistence of
the French rescue team, which has kept looking for
survivors for days after the Haitian government officially
called off the search.
"They are so stubborn because they should not have been
working anymore because, officially, the rescue phase is
over. But they felt that some lives still are to be saved,
so we did not say that they should leave the country," he
told Associated Press Television News.
"To be honest we thought that the last miracle we had a
couple of days ago ... would be the last miracle because
the chances are so very, very slight. But it seems that
beyond the miracle, there was another miracle."
The last previous confirmed rescue of someone trapped by
the initial quake occurred Saturday, 11 days later, when
French rescuers extricated a man from the ruins of a hotel
grocery store. A man pulled Tuesday from the rubble of a
downtown store later and treated by the U.S. military for
severe dehydration and a broken leg said he had been
trapped during an aftershock.
At least 135 people have been unearthed by rescue teams
since the Jan. 12 quake, and many more by relatives and
neighbors. But most of these rescues were in the immediate
aftermath and authorities say it is rare for anyone to
survive more than 72 hours without water.
(Mainichi Japan) January 28, 2010
Haiti's children on their own on shattered
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- The children with no names
lay mute in a corner of the General Hospital grounds
Tuesday, three among thousands of boys and girls set adrift
in the wake of Haiti's earthquake.
"Hi, Joe, how are you?" the American doctor tried, using a
pet name the staff had given a boy of about 11.
There was no response.
"Joe," ''Baby Sebastian" and the girl who didn't even have
a nickname hadn't spoken or cried since they were brought
in over the previous 48 hours -- by neighbors, passers-by,
no one knows who. "Sebastian," only a week old, was said to
have been taken from the arms of his dead mother.
They're lucky: Haitian-born Dr. Winston Price and the staff
were treating them for infections and other ailments.
Hundreds of thousands of other hungry and thirsty children
are scattered among Port-au-Prince's squatter camps of
survivors, without protection against disease or child
predators -- often with nobody to care for them.
"There's an estimated 1 million unaccompanied or orphaned
children or children who lost one parent," said Kate
Conradt, a spokeswoman for the aid group Save the Children.
"They are extremely vulnerable."
The U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, has established a
special tent camp for girls and boys separated from their
parents in the Jan. 12 quake, and who are in danger of
falling prey to child traffickers and other abusers. The
Connecticut-based Save the Children has set up "Child
Spaces" in 13 makeshift settlements. The Red Cross and
other groups are working to reunite families and get
children into orphanages.
The post-quake needs of Haiti's children have outrun
available help. Some youngsters have been released from
hospitals with no one to care for them -- there just aren't
"Health workers are being advised to monitor and send
separated/unaccompanied children to child-friendly spaces,"
the U.N. humanitarian office said in its latest situation
The plight of the young is poignant even in a country where
the U.N. estimates a third of the 9 million population
needs international assistance in the quake's aftermath.
"We still have a huge distance to go," said John Holmes,
the U.N. relief coordinator.
That was evident in Port-au-Prince's streets, alleys and
crumbled doorways, where handwritten messages begged for
help. In the Juvenat neighborhood, a group of 50 families
hung a white sheet from a doorway, with this plea scrawled
in green: "We need food assistance, water and medicine."
It was evident, too, among the thousands pressing against
Haitian police at a food-distribution site in the Cite
Soleil slum. They swung sticks to beat back the crowd.
Brazilian troops in armored personnel carriers controlled a
tightly packed line of earthquake survivors waiting for
food in the broiling sun by firing pepper spray and
training their guns on the jostling, rowdy crowd. The line
stretched between the partially collapsed National Palace
and entirely destroyed Supreme Court.
One soldier loaded a shotgun and returned their taunts by
shouting back insults in Creole. Some were offended, others
amused at hearing a Brazilian trooper insulting them in
their own language.
"They treat us like animals, they beat us but we are hungry
people," said Muller Bellegarde, 30.
Several left without getting food, fearful of the pepper
spray, the soldiers, and thugs who were grabbing food from
Many said they appreciate the international response and
under no circumstances want the Haitian government to
handle aid deliveries, but suggested Haitian churches could
provide more orderly and respectful venues for
distributions, with Haitian communities organizing
"The help is good but the way they're doing it is bad. This
is anarchy," Thomas Louis, 40, trying to get rice and oil
for his two babies, aged 2 and six months. "This is not
aid. This is a way to put people down."
Also Tuesday, Haitians in a crowd of looters pulled a man
from the rubble of a store that had been repeatedly
scavenged, and called for help from U.S. soldiers, who
treated him for a broken leg and severe dehydration. Rico
Dibrivell, 35, claimed he had been trapped since the
earthquake two weeks earlier, but the military provided no
details about how he managed to survive.
More than 100 have been unearthed by rescue teams since the
Jan. 12 quake, and many more by their neighbors, but most
of those were in the immediate aftermath and authorities
say it is unlikely for anyone to survive more than 72 hours
without water. On Saturday, an international team of
rescuers unearthed a shop clerk who they believed had been
buried since the earthquake.
The monumental scale of the Haiti disaster -- perhaps
200,000 dead, a capital city on its knees -- has severely
strained the world's ability to get relief supplies through
Port-au-Prince's overloaded airport and crippled seaport.
Some 800 to 1,000 aid flights were still awaiting
permission to land, a seven-day backlog, U.N. and European
officials reported Tuesday. On top of that, "trucks are
needed," U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva --
especially small trucks because "the streets are extremely
The U.N.'s Holmes estimated that 2 million people need
food, but only 500,000 have received some so far.
The medical picture has improved, but remains critical.
World Health Organization spokesman Paul Garwood said more
medical staff is needed, especially rehabilitation
specialists, to help with postoperative recovery of 200,000
people who have had amputations or other surgery.
Haitians and volunteers from dozens of countries, working
around the clock, were still performing up to 100
amputations a day in some hospitals.
At the General Hospital, Price strode from tent to tent
checking on the 81 children under his care. Staff
interrupted the tall, balding pediatrician with a string of
questions: "Do you know about this baby?" ''Where's the
medication?" ''Where will we sleep tonight?"
Of the nameless, speechless trio, he was treating young Joe
for an infection oozing from both eyes. The 7-pound
(3-kilogram) Baby Sebastian, in a white diaper decorated
with sheep, had diarrhea. The unnamed girl, about 10, lay
listlessly and stared upward. She had an eye infection, but
would soon be picked up by an orphanage, Price said.
With no clues to their past, Price could only wonder.
"Maybe some of these parents are not even looking because
their house was destroyed and they might think the kid was
inside," he said. "But maybe the kid was pulled out, so
they are missing each other."
Children left alone are everywhere. At one of the 13 Save
the Children sites, about 25 children have no adult
relatives taking care of them, Conradt said. She said the
group has helped some 6,000 children since the quake.
The aid group's "Child Spaces" are cordoned-off areas where
children can play under supervision," run around being
children, giving them a chance to return to normalcy as
much as they can."
Such areas also protect children against the potential for
abduction by child traffickers, a chronic problem in
pre-quake Haiti, where thousands were handed over to other
families into lives of domestic servitude, said Deb Barry,
an emergency protection adviser with Save the Children.
She said her organization was working to track down every
rumor it hears about threats to stranded children, "but we
haven't been able to verify those thus far."
In Geneva, a UNICEF spokeswoman, Veronique Taveau, said the
organization had been told of children disappearing from
hospitals. "It's difficult to establish the reality," she
said, but added that UNICEF has strengthened security at
hospitals and orphanages.
Save the Children, the Red Cross and other organizations,
meanwhile, are trying to establish a joint database of
information to try to reunite separated families.
Government spokeswoman Marie Laurence Jocelyn-Lassegue, the
communications minister, said Tuesday that Haitian
officials have temporarily halted new adoptions because of
concerns about corruption and carelessness in the system.
"Some children we don't know if the parents are alive or
not," Jocelyn-Lassegue said.
(Mainichi Japan) January 27, 2010
Survivors flee Haiti capital; buried still
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- By boat or by bus, by bicycle
and on foot along clogged and broken roads, earthquake
survivors streamed away from this city and its landscape of
desolation Friday and into Haiti's hinterlands and the
The government and international agencies urgently searched
for sites to build tent cities on Port-au-Prince's
outskirts to shelter hundreds of thousands of the homeless
staying behind before springtime's onslaught of floods and
"We need to get people out of the sun and elements," U.N.
spokesman Nicholas Reader said as relief teams worked to
deliver food, water and medical aid to the population,
estimated at 1 million, sprawled over some 600 settlements
around the rubble-strewn capital and in the quake zone
Into this bleak picture Friday came stunning word of
rescues from beneath the ruins, 10 days after the killer
An Israeli search team pulled a 22-year-old man from a
crevasse in the rubble of what had been a three-story home,
according to an Israeli Defense Forces statement and video
of the rescue obtained by The Associated Press. He was
reported in stable condition at an Israeli field hospital
Earlier Friday, an 84-year-old woman was said by relatives
to have been pulled from the wreckage of her home,
according to doctors administering oxygen and intravenous
fluids to her at the General Hospital. They said they had
little hope the woman, in bad condition, would live.
The rescues came two days after many international search
teams began packing up their gear.
The 7.0-magnitude quake struck Jan. 12 and killed an
estimated 200,000 people, according to Haitian government
figures cited by the European Commission. Countless dead
remained buried in thousands of collapsed and toppled
buildings in Port-au-Prince, a city of slums that drew
migrants from an even more destitute countryside.
Now that movement has abruptly reversed, as quake victims,
with meager belongings, jam small buses and battered
automobiles, take to bicycles or just walk to outlying
towns and rural areas, to relatives or whatever shelter
they can find.
They jammed a simple Port-au-Prince wharf as well, in hopes
of a spot aboard an outbound skiff sailing up the coast.
"I'll wait till I find one," said Edson Roddy, 18.
"A lot of people are leaving. You can't imagine how many
people are going back home," said Menoir Sadeius, 24, who
works small school buses with passengers, earning $3 each
time he crams 27 people on board.
As many as 200,000 have fled the city of 2 million, the
U.S. Agency for International Development reported, citing
a Haitian survey of bus stations and of sources in
destination towns. At St. Marc, 40 miles (70 kilometers) to
the north, most arrived with injuries from the quake, the
U.S. agency said.
Now huddled with cousins in that dusty seaside town,
Port-au-Prince refugee Daniel Dukenson said his nephew and
sister, pulled from the family's fallen house after the
quake, were recuperating.
"I'd like to go back," the 28-year-old computer teacher
said. "But it's going to take a lot of time for
Port-au-Prince to get back on its feet. Two years maybe."
The end of the road didn't always offer relief, however. At
least 100,000 people may have fled farther north, to
Gonaives, a city of 280,000 devastated by back-to-back
hurricanes in 2008.
"We are working with authorities to discourage people from
going to Gonaives," said Myrta Kaulard, country director of
the U.N. World Food Program. "It is a very dangerous town
and it is still partially destroyed from the hurricanes."
Brazilian U.N. peacekeepers and work crews have begun
clearing a site at Croix-des-Bouquets, just northeast of
Port-au-Prince, for what may become a tent city for 30,000
people, the International Organization for Migration said.
Six other sites have also been identified, but it will
probably take weeks before the first camps accept
Port-au-Prince's homeless, the group's spokesman
Jean-Philippe Chauzy said in Geneva.
Such camps "cannot be built overnight," said the agency's
Haiti mission chief, Vincent Houver. "There are standards
that have to be designed by experts. There is the leveling
of the land, procurement and delivery of tents, as well as
water and sanitation."
Many quake victims may resist the voluntary resettlement,
wary of moving farther from their wrecked homes and their
possessions inside, or from relatives. But the need for
shelter and security will likely prevail, Chauzy said,
particularly as hurricane season approaches in June.
While plans were drafted for major relocations, scores of
aid organizations, big and small, stepped up deliveries of
food, water, medical supplies and other aid to the homeless
and other needy of Port-au-Prince.
The WFP has distributed more than 1.4 million rations --
each containing three meals -- since the quake and is
bringing in 16 million more. "We are planning to flood the
country with food," Kaulard said.
The U.S. military, whose more than 2,000 troops on the
ground have helped speed aid deliveries, reported steady
progress overcoming obstacles that have slowed relief
efforts, including in the outlying quake zone.
"Each day we are getting better and better and extending
our reach to more and more of Haiti," said Army Col. Bill
But obstacles remained to getting help into people's hands.
In the three miles (five kilometers) or so between
Port-au-Prince and Carrefour, satellite images show 691
blockages on the road -- collapsed houses or other debris
-- the U.N. reported. Aftershocks this week damaged a U.N.
warehouse in the city, causing a loss of some 200 tons of
food, USAID reported. Those same tremors forced medical
staff and patients to abandon two hospitals in
Port-au-Prince and one in Leogane because they were no
longer safe, the aid group Doctors Without Borders said.
In just one day, however, the U.S. Navy hospital ship
Comfort had made a difference. The giant white ship, which
dropped anchor on Wednesday, had treated 932 patients and
performed 32 surgeries by midday Thursday, USAID reported.
The world's nations have pledged almost $1 billion in
relief aid, and more was on the way: Top-name international
celebrities from film, music, sports and politics, from
Beyonce to Leonardo DiCaprio, headlined a two-hour telethon
Friday night to raise funds for Haiti.
On Saturday, the great grief of this devoutly religious
nation will focus on one of its tens of thousands of dead,
in an 8 a.m. funeral for Msgr. Joseph Serge Miot,
archbishop of Port-au-Prince, near the ruins of his
(Mainichi Japan) January 23, 2010
Haiti to relocate 400,000 quake
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Within days, the government
will move 400,000 people made homeless by Haiti's epic
earthquake from their squalid improvised camps throughout
the shattered capital to new resettlement areas on the
outskirts, a top Haitian official said Thursday.
Authorities are worried about sanitation and disease
outbreaks in makeshift settlements like the one on the
city's central Champs de Mars plaza, said Fritz Longchamp,
chief of staff to President Rene Preval.
"The Champ de Mars is no place for 1,000 or 10,000 people,"
Longchamp told The Associated Press. "They are going to be
going to places where they will have at least some adequate
He said buses would start moving the displaced people
within a week to 10 days, once new camps are ready.
Brazilian U.N. peacekeepers were already leveling land in
the suburb of Croix des Bouquets for a new tent city, the
Geneva-based intergovernmental International Organization
for Migration reported Thursday.
The hundreds of thousands whose homes were destroyed in the
Jan. 12 quake had settled in more than 200 open spaces
around the city, the lucky ones securing tents for their
families, but most having to make do living under the
tropical sun on blankets, on plastic sheets or under
tarpaulins strung between tree limbs.
The announcement came as search-and-rescue teams packed
their dogs and gear Thursday, with hopes almost gone of
finding any more alive in the ruins. The focus shifted to
keeping injured survivors alive, fending off epidemics and
getting help to the hundreds of homeless still suffering.
"We're so, so hungry," said Felicie Colin, 77, lying
outside the ruins of her Port-au-Prince nursing home with
dozens of other elderly residents who have hardly eaten
since the earthquake hit on Jan. 12.
A melee erupted at one charity's food distribution point as
people broke into the storehouse, ran off with food and
fought each other over the bags.
As aftershocks still shook the city, aid workers were
streaming into Haiti with water, food, drugs, latrines,
clothing, trucks, construction equipment, telephones and
tons of other relief supplies. The international Red Cross
called it the greatest deployment of emergency responders
in its 91-year history.
But the built-in bottlenecks of this desperately poor,
underdeveloped nation and the sheer scale of the
catastrophe still left many of the hundreds of thousands of
victims without help. The U.S. military reported a waiting
list of 1,400 international relief flights seeking to land
on Port-au-Prince's single runway, where 120 to 140 flights
were arriving daily.
"They don't see any food and water coming to them, and they
are frustrated," said Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.
Four ships managed to dock at the capital's
earthquake-damaged port, holding out the promise of a new
avenue for getting aid to the city. A Danish navy ship was
seen unloading crates. But the going was slow, since only
one truck at a time could maneuver on the crack-riven pier.
The picture was especially grim at emergency medical
centers, where shortages of surgeons, nurses, their tools
and supplies have backed up critical cases.
"A large number of those coming here are having to have
amputations, since their wounds are so infected," said
Brynjulf Ystgaard, a Norwegian surgeon at a Red Cross field
Food was reaching tens of thousands, but the need was much
greater. Perhaps no one was more desperate than the 80 or
so residents of the damaged Municipal Nursing Home, in a
slum near the shell of Port-au-Prince's devastated
cathedral. The quake killed six of the elderly, three
others have since died of hunger and exhaustion, and
several more were barely clinging to life.
"Nobody cares," said Phileas Justin, 78. "Maybe they do
just want us to starve to death."
In the first eight days after the quake, they had eaten
just a bit of pasta cooked in gutter water and a bowl of
rice each. On Thursday, they had a small bowl of spaghetti
and five bags of rice and beans, and cooking oil, were
A dirty red sheet covered the body of Jean-Marc Luis, who
died late Wednesday. "He died of hunger," said security
guard Nixon Plantin. On Thursday, four days after The
Associated Press first reported on the patients' plight,
workers from the British-based HelpAge International
visited and said they would help.
One by one, such deaths were adding to a Haitian
government-estimated toll of 200,000 dead, as reported by
the European Commission. It said 250,000 people were
injured and 2 million homeless in the nation of 9 million.
As U.S. troops began patrolling Port-au-Prince to boost
security, sporadic looting and violence continued.
At a building in the Carrefour neighborhood where the
multi-faith Eagle Wings Foundation of West Palm Beach,
Florida, was to distribute food, quake victims from a
nearby tent camp suddenly stormed the stores and made off
with what the charity's Rev. Robert Nelson said were 50
tons of rice, oil, dried beans and salt. Fights broke out
as others stole food from the looters.
At least 124 people were saved by search-and-rescue teams
that worked tirelessly since soon after the quake, the
European Commission reported. But as hopes faded Thursday,
so long after untold numbers were trapped in the debris,
some of the 1,700 specialists, working in four dozen teams
with 160 dogs, began demobilizing.
Joe Downey, a fire battalion chief from an 80-member New
York City police and firefighter unit, said this was the
worst destruction his rescue team had ever seen.
"Katrina was bad," he said of the 2005 hurricane. "But this
was a magnitude at least 100 times worse."
On Thursday, 18 hospitals and emergency field hospitals
were working in Port-au-Prince. But the burden was
overwhelming: Some quake victims have waited for a week for
treatment, and patients were dying of sepsis from untreated
wounds, according to Dr. Greg Elder, deputy operations
manager for Doctors Without Borders.
The Pan American Health Organization said hospitals need
more orthopedic surgeons and nurses, more supplies, and
better sanitation and water.
The Haitian government asked that mobile clinics be set up
in all of the more than 280 sites where Port-au-Prince's
now-homeless have resettled in tents or in the open air on
blankets and plastic sheets.
Doctors warned, too, of potential outbreaks of diarrhea,
respiratory-tract infections and other communicable
diseases among hundreds of thousands living in overcrowded
camps with poor sanitation. A team of epidemiologists was
on its way to assess that situation, the Pan American
Health Organization said.
The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort, which dropped anchor
Wednesday outside Port-au-Prince harbor, should help
significantly. It was reinforcing its crew to 800 doctors,
nurses and medical technicians, increasing its hospital
beds to almost 1,000, and boosting its operating rooms from
six to 11 in the next few days, the Navy said.
The Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, taking over a small police
port as a triage center, were helicoptering injured out to
the Comfort on Thursday. "I'm hoping to get nearly 200 out
today," said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Grabus, in charge of the
landing zone where more than 30 choppers were in action.
Nervously waiting to be airlifted with her 1-year-old boy
to the Comfort, Shamaelle Gelin, 22, said his fractured leg
had gone untreated for a week and was badly infected. She
was a "bit scared" about her first flight and shipboard
experience, "but of course I'll stay with him," she said.
Almost $1 billion in foreign aid has been pledged to help
Haiti recover from the quake, and the White House said the
U.S. share has climbed to about $170 million.
The U.N. World Food Program said it has delivered at least
1 million rations to about 200,000 people, with each ration
providing the equivalent of a daily three meals. In the
coming days, it plans to deliver five-day rations to
100,000 people a day, it said. The U.S. military said it
was resuming air drops of water and meals on parachute
pallets into zones secured by U.S. troops.
On a hillside golf course overlooking Port-au-Prince, where
a U.S. 82nd Airborne Division unit set up its aid base, a
tent city of tens of thousands grew daily as word spread
that the paratroopers were distributing food.
"They are coming from all over the city," said bookkeeper
and camp resident Augustin Evans, 30. "They are coming
because they are hungry."
Beyond the capital, closer to the quake's epicenter to the
southwest, hundreds of Marines and Canadian troops were
deploying around Leogane and Jacmel.
More than 2,600 U.S. soldiers, Marines and airmen were on
the ground in Haiti, and more than 10,000 sailors and
others were offshore. The number on the ground was expected
to grow to 4,600 by the weekend.
In view of continuing looting and violence, American forces
were expected to reinforce the long-established U.N.
peacekeeping force here in escorting aid convoys. The U.N.
was adding 2,000 peacekeepers to the 7,000 already in
Haiti, and 1,500 more police to the 2,100-member
Haiti accepted an offer from the Dominican Republic to send
150 troops to help secure the crucial main road from the
Dominican border to Port-au-Prince, the United Nations
(Mainichi Japan) January 22, 2010
Haiti: life on the street facing hunger,
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Ancelot Jean didn't have much
before the earthquake: a concrete house in a slum with a
carpentry shop out back.
Now he has almost nothing. He lives with his wife, six
children -- and thousands of other families -- in the
Haitian capital's central plaza, the Champs de Mars. They
cook meals on the sidewalk and hang clothes to dry on the
gates of the crumbled presidential palace. Their only shade
comes from a green umbrella.
"This is our home now," says his wife, Roselaine Dolce.
The family sleeps side by side for protection from thieves,
among tents mostly populated by their homeless neighbors
from the neighborhood known as Marche Solomon, a few blocks
Their Thursday began with first light around 6 a.m. in a
sprawling plaza dotted with statues of Haiti's
revolutionary heroes, by far the widest and one of the only
open spaces in the severely overpopulated capital.
Roselaine's son from a previous marriage, 22-year-old
Michel Lafleur, popped up from his cardboard mat and
crossed the street to buy a cup of coffee for 5 gourdes --
about 13 cents. Jean would have liked a cup as well, but
there wasn't money for two, so he just washed his face and
said his morning prayers.
In fact, that morning cup of joe would be the last thing
anyone consumed by afternoon.
Miraculously, all the children survived: Besides Michel,
there were Roselaine's adopted daughter, 16-year-old
Cresna, and Jean's children Jonathan, 14, and Clairemai,
11. The couple was also caring for 11-year-old Francia and
15-year-old Jenny, the orphaned children of Dolce's sister,
who was killed with her husband when their house collapsed
during a prayer meeting on the horrible afternoon of Jan.
"Only God can give what happened a name. But sometimes we
call it 'the big truck that went by,'" Jean says. "The big
truck of death."
With no breakfast to be had, Dolce set about starting her
wash for the day, in a plastic bucket filled with soap and
water drawn from a fetid fountain nearby that was polluted
with human waste. Most of the kids had only the clothes
they were wearing when the earthquake struck.
For everyone else, there was not much to do but gossip and
gawk. There was plenty to see. Some aftershocks hit, and
bits of loose brick would fall off the smashed Haitian Army
barracks, disused since exiled former president
Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the force in the 1990s.
"Jesus, Jesus," Dolce whispered each time the ground shook,
closing her eyes and raising her palms.
To the left, U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne were
setting up a checkpoint to clear a route to the nearby
General Hospital, and young men gathered by their armored
Humvees in case the Americans decided to hand out
To the right, sleek gray U.S. Navy helicopters took off and
landed from the lawn of the collapsed presidential palace
as hundreds pressed against the green gates to look on.
Jean and Dolce would be happy to work, but they lost all
their equipment and appliances in the quake.
She used to sell vegetable juice for $1.25 a blender-full
near the corner of Massillon Coicou and T. Brutus streets,
not a great spot since the nearby medical school was the
scene of constant rock and tear gas clashes between
students and U.N. peacekeepers last year, but a decent
business nonetheless. Her table and blender were destroyed
when a wall fell on them during the quake.
As for Jean, he managed to salvage only a saw and sander
from his workshop when the walls came down. That he made it
out alive from the concrete warren where his broken
five-room house sat is incredible enough, climbing out as
buildings fell on friends around him.
He'd been putting the finishing touches on a cupboard he
was going to sell for $320 when the quake struck. He lost
the $143 in materials, plus the time he'd put in so far.
For a family that is among the 50 percent of Haitians who
get by on just $1 a day, that meant financial ruin.
Ladies in a blue-tarp tent nearby were cooking beans and
vegetables for about $1.50, but that was far too much for
the family budget. Jean waited instead for a carpenter
friend to come by with a little cash, which he hoped would
buy a can of rice, some salt fish, oil and a bouillon cube
for Dolce to cook that evening.
As for the people in the nearby commercial district who
were breaking into fallen stores to scramble for food, Jean
wants nothing to do with that.
"I don't take part in those things. It's only God who can
judge what they are doing, but I would not go down that
road," he says.
His stepson Michel used to jog on the Champs de Mars, but
now it's too crowded with tents to exercise. His school,
where he was studying computers, was destroyed and he
doesn't think he speaks enough English to join the sudden
rush for jobs with the soldiers and even more omnipresent
foreign news crews. So he wanders around and gets a shoe
Sixteen-year-old Cresna goes to her cousins' tent a short
walk away to get the news on what's happened during and
since the earthquake. She also likes reciting psalms. The
others mill about, taking advantage of the hot, slow
tranquility of day before the darkness and suspicion of the
Nobody likes living here. It's hot and it smells bad, the
ground is hard and the helicopters are loud. But nobody
seems to even be thinking about heading back to their
houses, if they even still exist, and Jean doesn't want to
go back to the street where they spent that first sleepless
night either. Too cramped for eight.
"I think there could be another catastrophe. A lot of
buildings are tilted and could fall any time," says
Jean-Brice Astrel, a radio journalist whose station, 91.3
Tropic FM, was wiped out along with its administrative
director in the quake. He sent his kids to the countryside
and sleeps on a sheet in the plaza as well, collecting
tidbits for stories he can't broadcast.
The U.S. and French governments plan to bring in food,
latrines and tents for 600 families by next week, but with
thousands of displaced families living here, those will
only go so far. The Haitian government plans to relocate
400,000 now living in city camps to temporary housing on
the outskirts of the capital, Fritz Longchamp, chief of
staff to President Rene Preval, told The Associated Press
"The Champ de Mars is no place for 1,000 or 10,000 people,"
Longchamp said. "They are going to be going to places where
they will have at least some adequate facilities."
On Thursday, a local water truck pulled up and everyone ran
to catch the plastic packets of water being chucked out for
free. A U.S. soldier across the street put a big gun atop
his Humvee and strapped on his helmet, eyeing the gathering
crowd, but nothing happened and he sat back down.
The sun peaked high in the sky and the ground rumbled a
"Jesus, Jesus," Dolce says. Her children surround her, and
the family rests together on a low wall.
"I want everyone to be courageous. This is something we
have never gone through before, but we'd better get used to
it," she says as another helicopter shakes the trees. "We
are going to be here for a while."
(Mainichi Japan) January 22, 2010
Aftershock drives more from Haitian
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A frightening new aftershock
Wednesday forced more earthquake survivors onto the
capital's streets to live and sent others fleeing to the
countryside, where aid was only beginning to reach wrecked
A flotilla of rescue vessels, meanwhile, led by the U.S.
hospital ship Comfort, converged on Port-au-Prince harbor
to help fill gaps in still-lagging global efforts to
deliver water, food and medical help. Hundreds of thousands
of survivors of Haiti's cataclysmic earthquake were living
in makeshift tents or on blankets and plastic sheets under
the tropical sun.
The strongest tremor since the Jan. 12 quake struck at 6:03
a.m., just before sunrise while many still slept. From the
teeming plaza near the collapsed presidential palace to a
hillside tent city, the 5.9-magnitude aftershock lasted
only seconds but panicked thousands of Haitians.
"Jesus!" they cried as rubble tumbled and dust rose anew
from government buildings around the plaza. Parents
gathered up children and ran.
Up in the hills, where U.S. troops were helping thousands
of homeless, people bolted screaming from their tents.
Jajoute Ricardo, 24, came running from his house, fearing
"Nobody will go to their house now," he said, as he sought
a tent of his own. "It is chaos, for real."
A slow vibration intensified into side-to-side shaking that
lasted about eight seconds -- compared to last week's far
stronger initial quake that seemed to go on for 30 seconds
and registered 7.0 magnitude.
Throngs again sought out small, ramshackle "tap-tap" buses
to take them away from the city. On Port-au-Prince's
beaches, more than 20,000 people looked for boats to carry
them down the coast, the local Signal FM radio reported.
But the desperation may be deeper outside the capital,
closer to last week's quake epicenter.
"We're waiting for food, for water, for anything," Emmanuel
Doris-Cherie, 32, said in Leogane, 25 miles (40 kilometers)
southwest of Port-au-Prince. Homeless in Leogane lived
under sheets draped across tree branches, and the damaged
hospital "lacks everything," Red Cross surgeon Hassan
Hundreds of Canadian soldiers and sailors were deploying to
that town and to Jacmel on the south coast to support
relief efforts, and the Haitian government sent a plane and
an overland team to assess needs in Petit-Goave, a seaside
town 10 miles (15 kilometers) farther west from Leogane
that was the epicenter of Wednesday's aftershock.
The death toll was estimated at 200,000, according to
Haitian government figures relayed by the European
Commission, with 80,000 buried in mass graves. The
commission raised its estimate of homeless to 2 million,
from 1.5 million, and said 250,000 people needed urgent
With search dogs and detection gear, U.S. and other rescue
teams worked into Wednesday night in hopes of finding
buried survivors. But hopes were dimming.
"It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and each
day the needles are disappearing," said Steven Chin of the
Los Angeles County rescue team.
One rescue was reported. The International Medical Corps
(IMC) said it cared for a child found in quake ruins on
Wednesday. The boy's uncle told doctors and a nurse with
the Los Angeles-based organization that relatives pulled
the 5-year-old from the wreckage of his home after
searching for a week, said Margaret Aguirre, an IMC
spokeswoman in Haiti.
Family members working to recover a body said they heard a
voice saying, "I'm here, I'm here," Aguirre recounted.
The boy was dehydrated, drinking four bottles of water and
two juices, but otherwise unharmed, she said.
Many badly injured Haitians still awaited lifesaving
"It is like working in a war situation," said Rosa Crestani
of Doctors Without Borders at the Choscal Hospital. "We
don't have any morphine to manage pain for our patients."
The damaged hospitals and emergency medical centers set up
in Port-au-Prince needed surgeons, fuel for generators,
oxygen and countless other kinds of medical supplies, aid
Dr. Evan Lyon, of the U.S.-based Partners in Health,
messaged from the central University Hospital that the
facility was within 24 hours of running out of key
operating room supplies. Wednesday's aftershock was yet
another blow: Surgical teams and patients were forced to
Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division were providing
security at the hospital. A helicopter landing pad was
designated nearby for airlifting the most critical patients
to the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort.
The great white ship, 894 feet (272 meters) long, with a
medical staff of 550, was anchored in Port-au-Prince harbor
and had taken aboard its first two surgical patients by
helicopter late Tuesday even as it was steaming in.
It joined the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and other U.S.
warships offshore, along with the French landing craft
Francis Garnier, which carried a medical team, hundreds of
tents and other aid.
The Garnier offloaded pallets of bottled water and prepared
meals at the city's quake-damaged port, while U.S. Army
divers surveyed the soundness of the main pier, where
trucks drove only on the edges because of damage down its
The seaborne rescue fleet will soon be reinforced by the
Spanish ship Castilla, with 50 doctors and 450 troops, and
by three other U.S.-based Navy vessels diverted from a
scheduled Middle East mission. Canadian warships were
already in Haitian waters, and an Italian aircraft carrier,
the Cavour, also will join the flotilla with medical teams
U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said at U.N.
headquarters in New York that it's believed that 3 million
people are affected, with 2 million of those needing food
for at least six months.
Between the U.N. World Food Program and deliveries by the
Red Cross and other private aid groups, about a
half-million Haitians should have been reached with
"reasonable quantities of food," he said. "That's still
very far short of what's needed."
At the hillside tent camp, set up on a golf course where an
82nd Airborne unit has its base, the lines of hungry and
thirsty stretched downhill and out of sight as paratroopers
handed out bottled water and ready-to-eat meals as fast as
helicopters brought them in.
In one sign of normalcy, women carried baskets of
cauliflower, sweet potatoes and sugar cane into the city
from farms in the hills. Some food and water was on sale in
Port-au-Prince's markets, but prices had skyrocketed.
"We need money, man. I don't have enough to buy anything,"
said Ricardo, the newly homeless man who was seeking work
and food, as well as a tent, at the golf course encampment.
Looking over the food lines there, 82nd Airborne Capt. John
Hartsock said, "This is the first time I've seen it this
President Rene Preval stressed the relative quiet
prevailing over much of Port-au-Prince. People understand,
he told French radio, "it is through calmness (and) an even
more organized solidarity that we're going to get out of
Concerns still persisted that looting and violence that
flared up in pockets in recent days could spread. In
downtown Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, dozens of men, women
and children clambered over the rubble of a department
store, hauling off clocks, lamps, towels, even women's hair
extensions. Police stood nearby, not intervening.
The European Commission's report described the security
situation as "deteriorating."
U.S. troops -- some 11,500 soldiers, Marines and sailors
onshore and offshore as of Wednesday and expected to total
16,000 by the weekend -- were seen slowly ratcheting up
control over parts of the city. Marine reinforcements were
to help escort aid deliveries. One unescorted truck was
seen screeching off Wednesday when a crowd grew unruly as
its tents were being distributed.
The U.N. was adding 2,000 peacekeepers to the 7,000 already
in Haiti, and 1,500 more police to the 2,100-member
international force. That plan suffered a setback when
Haiti -- with historically tense relations with the
neighboring Dominican Republic -- rejected a Dominican
offer of an 800-strong battalion, according to a Western
diplomat at the U.N., speaking on condition of anonymity in
the absence of a public announcement.
Other small signs of normalcy rippled over Port-au-Prince:
Street vendors had found flowers to sell to those wishing
to honor their dead. One or two money transfer agencies
reopened to receive wired money from Haitians abroad.
Officials said banks would open later this week.
But Wednesday's aftershock, the stench of the lingering
dead, and the tears and upstretched hands of helpless
Haitians made clear that the country's tragedy will
continue for months and years as this poor land counts and
remembers its losses.
After the tremor's dust settled Wednesday, street merchant
Marie-Jose Decosse walked past the partly collapsed St.
Francois de Salles Hospital in Carrefour Feuille, one of
the worst-hit sections of town. She raised her arms to the
sky, and spoke for millions.
"Lord have mercy, for we are sinners!" she shouted. "Please
have mercy on Haiti."
(Mainichi Japan) January 21, 2010
Survivor recounts 5 days trapped in the
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Trapped for five days in the
rubble of a hospital, nailed to the floor by the leg of a
bunk bed, the 23-year-old carpenter played his life over in
his mind and dreamt how he would live it differently if a
miracle set him free.
"I kept thinking, what a pity to leave so early, with so
little accomplished," Benito Revolus said, that miracle now
Despite a severely infected leg, a punctured lung and
numerous gashes and bruises, Revolus' smile grew ever wider
as he recounted his story, lying on the lawn of the damaged
headquarters of Medecins Sans Frontieres or Doctors Without
Borders, a French aid group.
"Sometimes, I still can't believe I'm here," Revolus said.
Revolus was being treated for a stab wound at another
hospital and was lying in the middle of a three-level bunk
bed when the earthquake hit Jan. 12, killing an estimated
"I thought it was the end. The ceiling collapsed before I
even understood what happened," Revolus said. Others in the
room fled, but he couldn't because the top section of his
bed collapsed on him, piercing through his left thigh and
pinning him to the ground.
But the top bunk also provided the breathing space that
kept him alive -- leaving him just enough to turn his chest
around when the pain became unbearable.
Doctors typically consider three days the maximum time a
seriously injured person losing blood can survive
underground. But Revolus spent five days under several feet
of rubble, with nothing to drink or eat. "I got so, so
hungry," he said, smiling again.
"That Benito got out of there was unusual," said Susan
Shepherd of New York, the MSF coordinator in Haiti. "He's a
Revolus wasn't so surprised. "I never completely lost
hope," he said, though he acknowledged it was very
difficult to remain optimistic when his shouts drew no
response. And he knew that having no other survivors with
him diminished his chances of rescue.
With nothing else to do, Revolus spent his lonely vigil
praying and reflecting on his life. "I thought about how
sad my mum must be because of me," he said, adding he was
certain he felt her prayers.
He also did an accounting of his good and bad deeds.
"I asked God to free me, and I promised him I wouldn't
waste my second chance," said Revolus, who had initially
been hospitalized after being stabbed in a fight over
His first step would be to forgive all old scores, he said,
and then he pledged to "never play at the lottery again."
Revolus said tiny cracks in the debris helped him track the
days, allowing him some idea of whether the sun was out or
He said it was just after dawn on the fifth day, Saturday,
that God answered his prayers, and probably his mother's as
"I heard three taps from a hammer," he said, showing how he
took a stone to tap back three times.
For the rest of the day, he heard a jackhammer, circular
saws and pliers working. About 4 p.m., he heard a foreigner
say in broken French: "My friend, I'm here with other
friends, and we're going to get you out."
Five minutes later, someone lifted a slab above him and
Revolus felt a rush of warm tropical light from Haiti's
late afternoon sun.
"Then I saw a human face. It was a young white man,
grinning," Revolus said. "He said, 'Good afternoon,' and I
answered, 'Thank you. Thank you.'"
He described the rescue team as American, with bright
yellow uniforms and plastic helmets. The team began
applauding, aware that finding someone alive so late in the
rescue effort was a small miracle.
Since Saturday, a handful of others have been pulled out
alive, including 69-year-old Ena Zizi, who was rescued from
the Roman Catholic compound and flown to the Dominican
Republic for treatment on Tuesday. One of the last
confirmed rescues was overnight Tuesday, when Lozama
Hotteline, 26, was pulled from a supermarket in midtown
Port-au-Prince, smiling and singing hymns.
A Taiwanese team of rescuers was still busy Wednesday at a
gas station where they had located two people alive the day
before. But it rained overnight and a magnitude-5.9 tremor
shook the Haitian capital in the morning. All this has made
the debris more compact, said Dr. Yi Ting Tsai. The two
survivors believed inside weren't giving any sign of life
Wednesday, he said.
Revolus knows he's "unbelievably lucky" to have been
dragged out. Once he can walk again, he hopes to be able to
travel to the United States to meet the firefighters who
"I'd like to visit them to say thank you," Revolus said.
"And maybe they can also help me get a visa to live in
(Mainichi Japan) January 21, 2010
Americans rush to adopt orphaned Haitian
MIAMI (AP) -- Tammy Gage cries every time she turns on the
TV and sees the devastation in Haiti. And though she
already has three daughters, she didn't hesitate when her
husband suggested that they adopt from Haiti.
"That's all he needed to say," she said.
Gage and her husband Brad are among many Americans
expressing interest in adopting children who have been left
orphans from the quake last week. Adoption advocacy groups
are reporting dozens of calls a day.
"The agencies are being flooded with phone calls and
e-mails," said Tom Difilipo, president and CEO of the
advocacy group Joint Council on International Children's
Services. "The response is 'Can we help with these children
by adopting them?'"
The need is vast. Even before Tuesday's deadly
magnitude-7.0 earthquake, Haiti, one of the world's poorest
countries, had 380,000 orphans, according to UNICEF. There
is no counting children newly orphaned by the quake, but
aid groups estimate the number in tens of thousands.
"Everybody here and in the world wants to do something. I
think it's a way that people are opening up their heads and
their hearts," said Mary Ross Agosta, spokeswoman for the
Archdiocese of Miami, which has offered temporary housing
for children until they are either placed with extended
family, put in foster care or adopted.
This week, 54 orphans arrived in Pittsburgh after a mission
that involved officials in the White House, the State
Department and the Department of Homeland Security. The
orphans will be given medical care and be placed in group
homes until their adoptions are finalized.
"We have received quite a few phone calls, including one
from as far away as Alaska," said Clare Kushma, a
spokeswoman for Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh. She
estimated the number of calls as close to 100, but is
referring people to the Allegheny County's Department of
Human Services for adoptions.
The road to adoption is a long one, Difilipo said. Most of
the orphans who have been brought the U.S. so far were
already in the process of being adopted.
Before new adoptions can occur, officials need to establish
that the children are identified by the Haitian government
as orphans; there have been reports of families selling
their children to adoption brokers. And potential families
need to be cleared, too.
"All this is a 2-year process minimum," he said. "Some
families have waited five years."
New solutions may be enacted for these orphans, though,
said Mary Robinson, CEO of the National Council for
Adoption. Her advocacy group has gotten an offer from
Puerto Rico to serve as a resting place for children until
they are adopted.
State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said the orphans
are one of the highest priorities for the U.S. government.
"We are looking at each and every orphan case individually
and we are working around the clock with officials of both
Homeland Security and the Haitian government to find
solutions," he said.
He said the U.S. Embassy in Haiti has processed immigrant
visas for 46 orphan children whose cases were ready for
processing. In addition there have been 100 humanitarian
waivers for more than 100 orphans.
Gage, 38, of Missouri, said her oldest daughter texted her
the phone number of the National Council for Adoption while
on the school bus. The family knows that adoption can take
a long time, but plans to stick it out.
"Of course the sooner, the better, but I know kind of the
process," she said.
Gage and her husband Brad had discussed adopting before,
but she was moved by the devastation in Haiti. "Really, I
wanted to get on the next flight out and help these
people," she said.
UNICEF will now work to find children who are alone and
determine whether they are orphans or have become separated
from family, spokesman Patrick McCormick said. If they have
relatives, the agency will work to reunite them.
Alternative and longterm options such as international
adoption would be an option only after that, New York-based
UNICEF spokesman Patrick McCormick.
All this requires detective work, but it should be done
within two months, he said.
Sheila Noel, 36, of Miami, who is from Haiti, says that she
called an advocacy group inquiring how she could adopt her
13-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister, who are now
being cared for by a friend. Noel said her mother and
stepfather were killed in the quake and two more brothers
"Right now the little ones I am really concerned about,"
she said. She said her siblings were sleeping in parks and
she was worried about violence.
"There is no police," she said. "There is nobody you can go
(Mainichi Japan) January 21, 2010
Haitians can start applying Thurs. to stay
MIAMI (AP) -- Haitians are so eager for information about a
federal designation that will let illegal immigrants work
temporarily in the U.S., they bombarded a Catholic church
here even though the program doesn't start until Thursday.
More than 1,000 Haitians lined up this week outside the
Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church in Miami's Little Haiti
neighborhood to ask questions about how to apply for
temporary protected status. Some were told to come back the
following day. Others have showed up at immigration law
offices and community centers elsewhere in Florida as well
as New York and New Jersey.
Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro
Mayorkas said only those who were in the U.S. on the day of
the earthquake or before it struck would will be eligible,
and he warned that early applications would be delayed.
"I want a driver's license," said Fritznel Monneus, 34, who
left a hurricane-ravaged Haiti in November 2008. "I want
TPS. I want an ID. I want to be working right now."
Randy McGrorty, head of Catholic Charities Legal Services,
fielded questions at the Miami church, mostly in Creole. He
told some that family members wouldn't be able come from
Haiti and seek the status, and that applicants likely
wouldn't qualify for college financial aid. Generally,
government benefits aren't available for those with the
Some also asked whether they could get help paying the
filing fees up to $470, including employment authorization.
McGrorty said a fee waiver was available, though he
discouraged it because it could delay an application.
Although the government has cautioned the protection is
temporary -- 18 months -- some of those applying hoped it
would lead to a longer reprieve. Immigrants from Central
American countries have had the designation for more than a
decade after a hurricane.
Applicants must prove their Haitian citizenship as well as
their residence in the U.S. before the earthquake struck
Jan. 12. Advocates urged people to collect rent receipts,
utility bills, employment records and medical records to
show they lived here.
Rex Chen, managing attorney at Catholic Charities in
Newark, New Jersey, said he warned Haitians against
potential scam artists that may falsely advertise TPS
papers for a fee.
"A number of Haitian Americans are devastated by the
disaster and they may not feel it's time to think about
themselves," Chen said. "Unfortunately, they need to start
thinking about themselves in the next six months, even if
all they want to think about is helping those in Haiti."
Haitian President Rene Preval asked twice in 2008 for the
U.S. to grant the temporary status, including after four
consecutive hurricanes and tropical storms devastated a
country already reeling from previous storm damage, food
riots and spiking fuel prices. Those requests were denied.
U.S. officials have said they expect about 100,000 to
200,000 applications. However, Haitian community advocates
in Miami believe the number of applicants will be closer to
Allan Pierre, 29, of Miami, came to ask questions for
friends who are here illegally and were afraid of being
deported if they showed up.
"A lot of them were scared to come because they don't know
what's going on, but I have a green card, so they can't do
nothing to me," Pierre said.
Like many Haitians in the U.S., Pierre and his friends lost
relatives in the earthquake. "They don't have a home no
more in Haiti," Pierre said. "If they're able to be here,
even temporarily, but legally, that's a big help."
About 350,000 people from five Central American and African
countries are considered eligible for TPS, though not all
may have it.
The agency's Web site, www.uscis.gov, has information in
English, French and Creole.
(Mainichi Japan) January 20, 2010
Crews pull more Haiti quake survivors from
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A 69-year-old ardent Roman
Catholic who said she prayed constantly during her week
under the rubble was among the unlikely survivors of the
epic Haitian earthquake.
One full week after the magnitude-7 quake killed an
estimated 200,000, left 250,000 injured and made 1.5
million homeless, search-and-rescue teams were emerging
from the ruins with improbable success stories. Experts
have said that without water, buried quake victims were
unlikely to survive beyond three days.
Ena Zizi had been at a church meeting at the residence of
Haiti's Roman Catholic archbishop when the quake struck,
trapping her in debris. On Tuesday, she was rescued by a
Mexican disaster team that was created in the wake of
Mexico City's 1985 earthquake.
Zizi said that after the quake, she spoke back and forth
with a vicar who also was trapped. But after a few days, he
fell silent, and she spent the rest of the time praying and
"I talked only to my boss, God," she said. "And I didn't
need any more humans."
Doctors who examined Zizi on Tuesday said she was
dehydrated and had a dislocated hip and a broken leg.
"I'm all right, sort of," she said, lying on a foil thermal
blanket outside the Cuban hospital, her gray hair covered
in white dust.
Elsewhere in the capital, two women were pulled from a
destroyed university building. And near midnight Tuesday, a
smiling and singing 26-year-old Lozama Hotteline was
carried to safety from a collapsed store in the Petionville
neighborhood by the French aid group Rescuers Without
Crews at the cathedral compound site Tuesday managed to
recover the body of the archbishop, Monsignor Joseph Serge
Miot, who was killed in the Jan. 12 quake.
Authorities said close to 100 people had been pulled from
wrecked buildings by international search-and-rescue teams.
Efforts continued, with dozens of teams sifting through
Port-au-Prince's crumbled homes and buildings for signs of
But the good news was overshadowed by the frustrating fact
that the world still can't get enough food and water to the
hungry and thirsty.
"We need so much. Food, clothes, we need everything. I
don't know whose responsibility it is, but they need to
give us something soon," said Sophia Eltime, a 29-year-old
mother of two who has been living under a bedsheet with
seven members of her extended family.
The World Food Program said more than 250,000 ready-to-eat
food rations had been distributed in Haiti by Tuesday,
reaching only a fraction of the 3 million people thought to
be in desperate need. There have been anecdotal reports of
starvation among the old and infirm, but apparently no
widespread starvation yet.
The WFP said it needs to deliver 100 million ready-to-eat
rations in the next 30 days. Based on pledges from the
United States, Italy and Denmark, it has 16 million in the
Even as U.S. troops landed in Seahawk helicopters Tuesday
on the manicured lawn of the ruined National Palace, the
colossal efforts to help Haiti were proving inadequate
because of the scale of the disaster and the limitations of
the world's governments. Expectations exceeded what money,
will and military might have been able to achieve.
So far, international relief efforts have been unorganized,
disjointed and insufficient to satisfy the great need.
Doctors Without Borders says a plane carrying urgently
needed surgical equipment and drugs has been turned away
five times, even though the agency received advance
authorization to land.
A statement from Partners in Health, co-founded by the
deputy U.N. envoy to Haiti, Dr. Paul Farmer, said the
group's medical director estimated 20,000 people are dying
each day who could be saved by surgery. No details were
provided on how the figure was determined.
"TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS NEED EMERGENCY
SURGICAL CARE NOW!!!!!" Farmer said in the statement.
The reasons are varied:
-- Both national and international authorities suffered
great losses in the quake, taking out many of the leaders
best suited to organize a response.
-- Woefully inadequate infrastructure and a near-complete
failure in telephone and Internet communications complicate
efforts to reach millions of people forced from homes
turned into piles of rubble.
-- Fears of looting and violence keep aid groups and
governments from moving as quickly as they'd like.
-- Pre-existing poverty and malnutrition put some at risk
even before the quake hit.
Governments have pledged nearly $1 billion in aid, and
thousands of tons of food and medical supplies have been
shipped. But much remains trapped in warehouses, or
diverted to the neighboring Dominican Republic. The
nonfunctioning seaport and impassable roads complicate
efforts to get aid to the people.
Aid is being turned back from the single-runway airport,
where the U.S. military has been criticized by some of
poorly prioritizing flights. The U.S. Air Force said
Tuesday it had raised the facility's daily capacity from 30
flights before the quake to 180 on Tuesday.
About 2,200 U.S. Marines established a beachhead west of
Port-au-Prince on Tuesday to help speed aid delivery, in
addition to 9,000 Army soldiers already on the ground. Lt.
Cmdr. Walter Matthews, a U.S. military spokesman, said
helicopters were ferrying aid from the airport into
Port-au-Prince and the nearby town of Jacmel as fast as
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that the
military will send a port-clearing ship with cranes aboard
to Port-au-Prince. It will be used to remove debris that is
preventing many larger ships carrying relief supplies from
docking, and it could help get the port back in operation
within a week or two, Gates said.
The U.N. was sending in reinforcements as well: The
Security Council voted Tuesday to add 2,000 peacekeepers to
the 7,000 already in Haiti, and 1,500 more police to the
2,100-strong international force.
"The floodgates for aid are starting to open," Matthews
said at the airport. "In the first few days, you're limited
by manpower, but we're starting to bring people in."
The WFP's Alain Jaffre said the U.N. agency was starting to
find its stride after distribution problems, and hoped to
help 100,000 people by Wednesday.
Hanging over the entire effort was an overwhelming fear
among relief officials that Haitians' desperation would
boil over into violence.
"We've very concerned about the level of security we need
around our people when we're doing distributions," said
Graham Tardif, who heads disaster-relief efforts for the
charity World Vision. The U.N., the U.S. government and
other organizations echoed such fears.
Occasionally, those fears have been borne out. Looters
rampaged through part of downtown Port-au-Prince on
Tuesday, just four blocks from where U.S. troops landed at
the presidential palace.
Hundreds of looters fought over bolts of cloth and other
goods with broken bottles and clubs.
"That is how it is. There is nothing we can do," said
Haitian police officer Arina Bence, who was trying to keep
civilians out of the looting zone for their own safety.
Haitian Police Chief Mario Andersol said he could muster
only 2,000 of the 4,500 officers in the capital and said
even they "are not trained to deal with this kind of
(Mainichi Japan) January 20, 2010
New tech tools help Haiti quake relief
Hundreds of tech volunteers spurred to action by Haiti's
killer quake are adding a new dimension to disaster relief,
developing new tools and services for first responders and
the public in an unprecedented effort.
"It really is amazing the change in the way crisis response
can be done now," said Noel Dickover, a Washington,
D.C.-based organizer of the CrisisCamp tech volunteer
movement, which is central to the Haiti effort.
"Developers, crisis mappers and even Internet-savvy folks
can actually make a difference."
Volunteers have built and refined software for tracking
missing people, mapping the disaster area and enabling
urgent cell phone text messaging. Organizations including
the International Red Cross, the United Nations, the World
Bank and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency have
put the systems to use.
Tim Schwartz, a 28-year-old artist and programmer in San
Diego, feared upon learning of the disaster that, with an
array of social-networking sites active, crucial
information about Haitian quake victims would "go
everywhere on the Internet and it would be very hard to
actually find people -- and get back to their loved ones,"
he said. So Schwartz quickly e-mailed "all the developers
I'd ever worked with."
In a few hours, he and 10 others had built
www.haitianquake.com, an online lost-and-found to help
Haitians in and out of the country locate missing
The database, which anyone can update, was online less than
24 hours after the quake struck, with more than 6,000
entries because Schwartz and his colleagues wrote an
"scraper" that gathered data from a Red Cross site.
The New York Times, Miami Herald, CNN and others launched
similar efforts. And two days later, Google had a similar
tool running, PersonFinder, that the State Department
promoted on its own Web site and Twitter. PersonFinder grew
out of missing-persons technology developed after Hurricane
Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005.
Christopher Csikszentmihalyi, director of the Center for
Future Civic Media at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, advocated online for consolidating all such
tools into the Google version so the information wouldn't
be stuck in competing projects.
He considers PersonFinder, which can be embedded in any Web
site and as of Tuesday had more than 32,000 records, a
triumph because it "greatly increases the chances that
Haitians in Haiti and abroad will be able to find each
Schwartz agreed and folded his database into PersonFinder,
which he thinks will become "THE application for missing
people for this disaster and all disasters in the future."
The site has received several hundred thousand visits, said
Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo. She had no data on how
many people had found loved ones using the tool.
Another volunteer project forged in the quake's aftermath
is a cell phone text-messaging system that has helped the
U.N., Red Cross and other relief groups dispatch rescuers,
food and water. Haitians needing help can send free text
messages from phones on the nation's Digicel service to the
"At least 20 people so far have been able to use this
program to tell their families in the U.S. that they're
OK," said Katie Stanton, a former Google employee working
in the State Department's Office of Innovation.
The text messages are translated, categorized and
"geotagged" by volunteers including Haitian-American
members of the New York City-based Service Employees
International Union. The service is being promoted on
Haitian radio stations and the service has handled more
than 1,000 messages since it began Saturday, said Josh
Nesbit, a co-creator. He put together a similar system for
hospitals in Malawi, Africa, while at Stanford University.
Chief executive Eric Rasmussen of InSTEDD, a small
humanitarian nonprofit that helped develop it, said by
phone from the tarmac of Haiti's airport Tuesday that U.N.
search-and-rescue dispatchers were at that moment
mobilizing to locate a woman eight months pregnant in
distress with an infection who had sent an SOS message
using the system.
In another collaborative effort, the OpenStreetMap "crisis
mapping" project, volunteers layer up-to-the-minute data
(such as the location of new field hospitals and downed
bridges) onto post-quake satellite imagery that companies
including GeoEye and DigitalGlobe have made freely
available. The digital cartography -- informed by
everything from Twitter feeds to eyewitness reports -- has
helped aid workers speed food, water and medicine to where
it's needed most.
One Colombian rescue team leader uploaded the maps to his
crew's portable GPS units before the team arrived on the
scene last week, developers said. Another volunteer, Talbot
Brooks of Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.,
converts the maps into letter-sized documents that aid
workers have been printing out before traveling to the
"We have already been using their data in our initial
post-disaster needs assessment," said Stuart Gill of the
Internet social networks have helped volunteers organize
intense work sessions.
CrisisCamp drew some 400 people in six cities including
Washington, London and Mountain View, Calif., over the
weekend to meet-ups where they devised, built and helped
refine tools. Among them: a basic Creole-English dictionary
for the iPhone that was delivered to Apple on Monday night
for its approval.
"There was no break for lunch and people barely used the
bathroom," said Clay Johnson of the Sunlight Foundation,
the government transparency-promoting tech nonprofit that
hosted the 130 participants in the Washington session.
U.N., State Department and World Bank representatives
Johnson also is the coordinator for "We Have, We Need," a
project that was hatched in the CrisisCamp session and is
about to be launched. It seeks to pair private-sector
offers with needs identified by aid workers. For example, a
Haitian Internet provider needs networking engineers to
restore connectivity. Any volunteers willing to spend a few
weeks in Port-au-Prince?
More CrisisCamps are planned this weekend in Northern
California, Miami, Atlanta, Washington, Atlanta, Brooklyn,
N.Y., Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles.
A week after the quake, many tech relief volunteers are
still working full steam.
"These people have been awake for days," Csikszentmihalyi
(Mainichi Japan) January 20, 2010
Help steps up, but so does scale of Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- The staggering scope of
Haiti's nightmare came into sharper focus Monday as
authorities estimated 200,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless
in the quake-ravaged heart of this tragic land, where
injured survivors still died in the streets, doctors
pleaded for help and looters slashed at one another in the
The world pledged more money, food, medicine and police.
Some 2,000 U.S. Marines steamed into nearby waters. And
ex-president Bill Clinton, special U.N. envoy, flew in to
offer support. Six days after the earthquake struck, search
teams still pulled buried survivors from the ruins.
But hour by hour the unmet needs of hundreds of thousands
Overwhelmed surgeons appealed for anesthetics, scalpels,
saws for cutting off crushed limbs. Uncounted hundreds of
survivors sought to cram onto buses headed out of town. In
downtown streets, others begged for basics.
"Have we been abandoned? Where is the food?" shouted one
man, Jean Michel Jeantet.
The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said it expected to boost
operations from feeding 67,000 people on Sunday to 97,000
on Monday. But it needs 100 million prepared meals over the
next 30 days, and it appealed for more government
"I know that aid cannot come soon enough," U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York after
returning from Haiti.
"Unplug the bottlenecks," he urged.
In one step to reassure frustrated aid groups, the U.S.
military agreed to give aid deliveries priority over
military flights at the now-U.S.-run airport here, the WFP
announced in Rome. The Americans' handling of civilian
flights had angered some humanitarian officials.
Looting and violence flared again Monday, as hundreds
clambered over the broken walls of shops to grab anything
they could -- including toothpaste, now valuable for lining
nostrils against the stench of Port-au-Prince's dead.
Police fired into the air as young men fought each other
over rum and beer with broken bottles and machetes.
Hard-pressed medical teams sometimes had to take time away
from quake victims to deal with gunshot wounds, said Loris
de Filippi of Doctors Without Borders. In the Montrissant
neighborhood, Red Cross doctors working in shipping
containers and saying they "cannot cope" lost 50 patients
over two days, said international Red Cross spokesman Simon
Amid the debris and the smoke of bodies being burned,
dozens of international rescue teams dug on in search of
buried survivors. And on Monday afternoon, some 140 hours
after the quake, they pulled two Haitian women alive from a
collapsed university building. At a destroyed downtown
bank, another team believed it was just hours from saving a
The latest casualty report, from the European Commission
citing Haitian government figures, doubled previous
estimates of the dead from the magnitude-7.0 quake, to
approximately 200,000, with some 70,000 bodies recovered
and trucked off to mass graves.
If accurate, that would make Haiti's catastrophe about as
deadly as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed an
estimated 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
European Commission analysts estimate 250,000 were injured
and 1.5 million were made homeless. Masses are living under
plastic sheets in makeshift camps and in dust-covered
automobiles, or had taken to the road seeking out relatives
in the safer countryside.
On the capital's southern edge, hundreds of people
struggled to get onto brightly painted "tap-tap" buses
heading out of town.
"We've got no more food and no more house, so leaving is
the only thing to do," said Livena Livel, 22, fleeing with
her 1-year-old daughter and six other relatives to her
father's house in Les Cayes, near Haiti's western tip.
"At least over there we can farm for food," she said.
She said she was spending her last cash on the "insanely
expensive" bus fare, jacked up to the equivalent of $7.70,
three days' pay for most Haitians, because gasoline prices
The European Union and its individual governments boosted
their aid pledges for Haiti to $606 million in emergency
and long-term aid, on top of at least $100 million pledged
by the U.S.
A dirt-poor nation long at the bottom of the heap, Haiti
will need years or decades of expanded aid to rebuild.
After meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval and other
international representatives in the neighboring Dominican
Republic, Dominican President Leonel Fernandez said Haiti
would need $10 billion over five years.
For the moment, however, front-line relief workers want
simply to get food and water to the hungry and thirsty.
The U.N. humanitarian chief, John Holmes, said in New York
not all 15 planned U.N. food distribution points were up
and running yet. "That's a question of people, trucks,
fuel, but the aid is scaling up very rapidly," he said.
The priorities are clearing roads, ensuring security at
U.N. distribution points, getting this city's seaport
working again and bringing in more trucks and helicopters,
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in Rome.
Evidence of the shortfall could be found at a makeshift
camp of 50,000 displaced people spread over a hillside golf
course overlooking the city. Leaders there said a U.S. 82nd
Airborne Division unit had been able to deliver food to
only half the people.
The 1,700 U.S. troops on the ground in Port-au-Prince were
to be reinforced by 2,000 Marines expected Monday off
Haiti's shores aboard three amphibious landing ships. Other
U.S. help was on the way, including two U.S. civilian crane
ships that could unload cargo at the quake-damaged port.
Getting clean water into people's hands was still a dire
"People can survive a few days without food but we must try
to avoid major outbreaks of waterborne disease," said Brian
Feagans, a spokesman for the aid group CARE.
Clinton and accompanying daughter Chelsea pitched in,
helping unload cases of bottled water from their plane to a
Some aid groups and foreign officials have blamed the U.S.
military for slowing down aid deliveries, saying the
American units that took charge of the small Port-au-Prince
airport last week gave priority to U.S. military flights.
Doctors Without Borders said Monday its specialists were 48
hours behind on performing surgery for critically injured
patients because three cargo planes loaded with supplies
were denied clearance and forced to land almost 200 miles
away in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The WFP's Sheeran said things would change. She announced
an agreement with the U.S. so that "we now have the
coordination mechanism to prioritize the humanitarian
flights coming in."
At the airport, a U.S. military spokesman said the parking
ramp designed for 16 large aircraft at times was holding
40. "That's why there was gridlock," said Navy Cmdr. Chris
Lounderman. He said about 100 flights a day were now
There remained a "huge demand for lifesaving surgery for
those who suffered terrible injuries," Doctors Without
Borders reported. The U.S.-based Partners in Health,
coordinating aid at Port-au-Prince's central hospital,
reported "a desperate need for all the resources required
to run a hospital," including surgical instruments,
anesthesia gear, alcohol, sutures, and saws.
More than 1,000 patients awaited surgery at the hospital,
it said. Right outside the U.S.-run airport, one man died
as Navy helicopters scrambled to evacuate patients to the
aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the military reported.
Across the city, thousands of abandoned bodies had been
picked up by government crews, but residents dragged still
others to crossroads, hoping municipal garbage trucks or
aid groups would deal with them.
Looting and violence added to the casualties. Riot police
opened fire -- mostly in the air -- to break up a mob of
several hundred fighting over rum bottles in a burning
shop. One teenage boy was hit in the thigh by a shotgun
blast. "Friends! Save me! Save me!" he cried, curled up in
a pool of blood, one foot almost severed. A medical aid
truck happened by and picked him up.
The ranks of Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers trying to
restore order in this stricken city had themselves been
decimated in the quake, which destroyed the U.N.
In New York on Monday, U.N. chief Ban asked for 1,500 more
U.N. police and 2,000 more peacekeepers to join the 9,000
or so U.N. security personnel in Haiti. Alain Le Roy, the
U.N. peacekeeping chief, said a "tremendous" number of
requests had come in to escort humanitarian convoys.
Haitian police had returned to the streets in only "limited
numbers," he said.
The Security Council was expected to approve the
reinforcements on Wednesday.
(Mainichi Japan) January 19, 2010
Haitians seeking US refuge will be
MIAMI (AP) -- U.S. authorities are readying for a potential
influx of Haitians seeking to escape their
earthquake-wracked nation, even though the policy for
migrants remains the same: with few exceptions, they will
So far, fears of a mass migration have yet to materialize.
However, conditions in Haiti become more dire each day and
U.S. officials don't want to be caught off guard.
Between 250 and 400 immigration detainees are being moved
from South Florida's main detention center to clear space
for any Haitians who manage to reach U.S. shores, according
to the Homeland Security Department. The Navy base at
Guantanamo Bay could house migrants temporarily -- far from
suspected terrorists also being held there -- and the
Catholic church is working on a plan to accept Haitian
Homeland Security spokesman Sean Smith said Monday that
orphans who have ties to the U.S. -- such as a family
member already living here -- and Haitians evacuated for
medical reasons are among those who can gain special
permission to remain in the U.S.
The mass migration plan, known as "Operation Vigilant
Sentry," was put in place in 2003 because of previous
experiences with Caribbean migrations, said Coast Guard Lt.
Cmdr. Chris O'Neil, spokesman for the Homeland Security
Task Force Southeast that would manage any Haitian influx.
The message was underscored by Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano during a weekend appearance at Homestead
Air Reserve Base south of Miami, a key staging area for
Haiti relief flights.
"This is a very dangerous crossing. Lives are lost every
time people try to make this crossing," Napolitano said,
addressing Haitians directly. "Please do not have us divert
our necessary rescue and relief efforts that are going into
Haiti by trying to leave at this point."
Some immigration advocates say the U.S. should shift away
from stopping migrants and ease safe passage. They say
those on approved waiting lists should be able to join
spouses or relatives in the U.S.
The Obama administration's decision last week to grant
temporary protected status to Haitians in the U.S.
illegally as of Jan. 12 does not extend to those attempting
to enter the U.S. after that date.
So far this year, the Coast Guard has intercepted 17
Haitians at sea, all before the earthquake struck. The 2009
total of 1,782 was higher than any year since 2004, when
more than 3,200 Haitians were stopped attempting to reach
U.S. shores. That was a year of political upheaval in Haiti
following the collapse of the government of former
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
(Mainichi Japan) January 19, 2010
French minister criticizes US aid role in
PARIS (AP) -- The United Nations must investigate and
clarify the dominant U.S. role in earthquake-ravaged Haiti,
a French minister said Monday, claiming that international
aid efforts were about helping Haiti, not "occupying" it.
U.S. forces last week turned back a French aid plane
carrying a field hospital from the damaged, congested
airport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, prompting
a complaint from French Cooperation Minister Alain
Joyandet. The plane landed safely the following day.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned governments
and aid groups not to squabble as they try to get their aid
"People always want it to be their plane ... that lands,"
Kouchner said Monday. "(But) what's important is the fate
of the Haitians."
But Joyandet persisted.
"This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti,"
Joyandet, in Brussels for an EU meeting on Haiti, said on
In another weekend incident, 250 Americans were flown to
New Jersey's McGuire Air Force Base on three military
planes from Haiti. U.S. forces initially blocked French and
Canadians nationals from boarding the planes, but the
cordon was lifted after protests from French and Canadian
The U.S. military controls the Port-au-Prince airport where
only one runway is functioning and has been effectively
running aid operations. However, the United Nations is
taking the lead in the critical task of coordinating aid.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday the
U.S. government had no intention of taking power from
Haitian officials. "We are working to back them up, but not
to supplant them," she said.
Joyandet said he expects a U.N. decision on how governments
should work together in Haiti and that he hopes "things
will be clarified concerning the role of the United
Other French officials sought to calm diplomatic tensions
over aid. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero
insisted the plane incidents were "minor problems" to be
expected during such a difficult relief mission and said
that Kouchner and Clinton have been working since the quake
on coordinating help.
Both nations have occupied Haiti in the past.
France occupied Haiti for more than 100 years, from 1697 to
independence in 1804 after the world's first successful
slave uprising. More recently, U.S. Marines occupied the
country from 1915 to 1934 to quiet political turmoil.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he intends to
travel to Haiti "in the weeks to come," though no date has
been set. Former Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has
cautioned that Sarkozy shouldn't go too soon because it
could divert attention from aid efforts.
U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said, "Clearly it can
be a problem if every leader in the world wants to turn up.
It will inevitably cause problems, particularly for the
leadership of these operations, although not, of course,
for the humanitarian workers on the ground."
(Mainichi Japan) January 19, 2010
Haitians pray, cry for help in the
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Prayers of thanksgiving and
cries for help rose from Haiti's huddled homeless Sunday,
the sixth day of an epic humanitarian crisis that was
straining the world's ability to respond and igniting
flare-ups of violence amid the rubble of Port-au-Prince.
Haitian police struggled to scatter hundreds of
stone-throwing looters in the city's Vieux Marche, or Old
Market. Elsewhere downtown, amid the smoke from bonfires
burning uncollected bodies, gunfire rang out and bands of
machete-wielding young men roamed the streets, faces hidden
A leading aid group complained of skewed priorities and a
supply bottleneck at the U.S.-controlled airport. The
general in charge said the U.S. military was "working
aggressively" to speed up deliveries.
Beside the ruins of the Port-Au-Prince cathedral, where the
sun streamed through the shattered stained glass, the
priest told his flock at their first Sunday Mass since
Tuesday's earthquake, "We are in the hands of God now."
But anger mounted hourly that other helping hands were slow
in getting food and water to millions in need.
"The government is a joke. The U.N. is a joke," Jacqueline
Thermiti, 71, said as she lay in the dust with dozens of
dying elderly outside their destroyed nursing home. "We're
a kilometer from the airport and we're going to die of
Water was delivered to more people around the capital,
where an estimated 300,000 displaced were living outdoors.
But food and medicine were still scarce.
The crippled city choked on the stench of death and shook
with yet another aftershock Sunday. On the streets, people
were still dying, people were on their knees praying for
help, pregnant women were giving birth on the pavement, and
the injured were showing up in wheelbarrows and on people's
backs at hurriedly erected field hospitals. Authorities
warned that looting and violence could spread.
At the Vieux Marche, police tried to disperse looters by
driving trucks through the crowds, as hundreds scrambled
over partly destroyed shops grabbing anything they could.
As he ran from the scene with a big box of tampons, Love
Zedouni shouted: "I've got no idea what this is, but I'm
sure you can sell it."
Police used tear gas to scatter looters at street markets
near the collapsed presidential palace. At the Cite Soleil
slum, moments after police drove by, a reporter spotted a
gunman stealing a bag of rice from a motorcycle rider.
"This is one of the most serious crises in decades," U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he flew into the
Haitian capital. "The damage, destruction and loss of life
are just overwhelming."
A reliable death toll may be weeks away, but the Pan
American Health Organization estimates 50,000 to 100,000
died in the 7.0-magnitude tremor, and Haitian officials
believe the number is higher.
Celebrating Mass outside the once-proud pink-and-white
cathedral, now a shell of rubble where a rotting body lay
in the entrance, the Rev. Eric Toussaint preached of
thanksgiving to a small congregation of old women and other
haggard survivors assembled under the open sky.
"Why give thanks to God? Because we are here," Toussaint
said. "What happened is the will of God. We are in the
hands of God now."
Mondesir Raymone, a 27-year-old single mother of two, was
grateful. "We have survived by the grace of God," she said.
But others were angry.
"It's a catastrophe and it is God who has put this upon
us," said Jean-Andre Noel, 39, a computer technician.
"Those who live in Haiti need everything. We need food, we
need drink, we need medicine. We need help."
Were his parishioners being helped? Toussaint was asked.
"Not yet," he replied.
The U.N. World Food Program was "pretty well on target to
reach more than 60,000 people today," up from 40,000 the
previous day, WFP spokesman David Orr said. But U.N.
officials said they must raise that to 2 million within a
month. The U.S. aid chief, Rajiv Shah, told "Fox News
Sunday" he believed the U.S. distributed 130,000 "meals
ready to eat" on Saturday, but the need was much larger.
"We're really trying to address it," he said.
Some food was still commercially available in the city, but
prices had skyrocketed beyond what most people could
In a further sign of the delays, the aid group CARE had yet
to set a plan for distributing 38 tons of WFP high-energy
biscuits in outlying areas of Haiti, CARE spokesman Brian
Feagans said Sunday. He did not say why.
The Geneva-based aid group Doctors Without Borders put it
bluntly: "There is little sign of significant aid
The "major difficulty," it said, was the bottleneck at the
airport, under U.S. military control. It said a flight
carrying its own inflatable hospital was denied landing
clearance and was being trucked overland from Santo
Domingo, almost 200 miles away in the Dominican Republic,
delaying its arrival by 24 hours.
French, Brazilian and other officials had earlier
complained about the U.S.-run airport's refusal to allow
their supply planes to land. A World Food Program official
told The New York Times that the Americans' priorities were
out of sync, allowing too many U.S. military flights and
too few aid deliveries.
The U.S. has completely taken over Port-au-Prince airspace
and incoming flights have to register with Tyndall Air
Force Base in Florida, said Chief Master Sgt. Ty Foster,
Air Force spokesman here.
"You won't have the stray cats and dogs allowed to come
into the airspace and clog it up," he said.
On Sunday, WFP spokesman Gregory Barrow in Rome was more
positive, speaking of "extremely close cooperation" with
the U.S. at the airport. But a coordinator here for Spain's
international development agency, Daniel Martin, complained
that their aid supplies had been diverted to Santo Domingo,
and Doctors Without Borders spokesman Jason Cone said the
U.S. military needed "to be clear on its prioritization of
medical supplies and equipment."
The on-the-ground U.S. commander in Haiti, Lt. Gen. Ken
Keen, acknowledged the bottleneck problem. "We're working
aggressively to open up other ways to get in here. The
ports are part of that," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The White House said Sunday the U.S. Coast Guard ship Oak
had arrived at Port-au-Prince harbor, rendered useless for
incoming aid because of quake damage, and would use heavy
cranes and other equipment to make the port functional.
Other U.S. help was on the way: Some 2,000 Marines should
arrive off Haiti on Monday, Keen said, reinforcing 1,000
U.S. troops on the ground.
The general reported "increasing incidents of violence," as
a weakened Haitian police force and U.N. peacekeeping
contingent were overwhelmed.
In the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Delmas, a crowd
gathered Sunday around the bodies of two accused looters,
who had been beaten to death by angry residents. Onlookers
said they were among 4,000 prisoners who escaped when the
main prison collapsed in the quake.
Angry survivors loitered amid piles of burning garbage in
the Bel-Air slum. "White guys, get the hell out!" they
shouted in apparent frustration at the sight of more and
more foreigners in their streets who were not delivering
They also sounded furious with President Rene Preval, who
hasn't been seen at a rescue site or gone on radio to
address the nation since the quake struck.
"Preval out! Aristide come back!" some shouted, appealing
for a return of the populist Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who
was ousted in 2004. From his South African exile, Aristide
said last week he wants to return to Haiti, but spoke of no
concrete plans to do so.
Work went on, meanwhile, perhaps in its desperate final
hours, to find survivors buried in the vast rubble of
At the U.N. headquarters destroyed in the quake, rescuers
lifted a Danish staff member alive from the ruins, just 15
minutes after Secretary-General Ban visited the site, where
U.N. mission chief Hedi Annabi and at least 39 other staff
members were killed. The rescued man was talking and
smiling as he was whisked away for medical treatment.
Hundreds of peacekeepers and other U.N. staff remain
At a collapsed Caribbean Supermarket where search teams
from Florida and New York City worked overnight, a
policeman reported that three people had been pulled out
alive around 6 a.m. Sunday.
Later, U.S. teams with search dogs in the lead found and
rescued a 16-year-old Dominican girl trapped for five days
in a small, three-story hotel that crumbled in downtown
More than 1,700 rescue workers had saved more than 70 lives
since the quake, a U.N. spokeswoman said in Geneva.
"There are still people living" in collapsed buildings,
Elisabeth Byrs told The Associated Press. "Hope continues."
In such conditions, she said, people might survive until
Aid slowly reaching Haitians as desperation grows
Frequent victim in the past, Asia to aid Haiti
Haiti quake aid snarled; up to 50,000 feared dead
International aid pledges for Haiti quake relief
Trapped Haitian girl dies despite rescue effort
Haiti quake: thousands feared dead, many trapped
Panic, looting and triage after major Haiti quake
(Mainichi Japan) January 18, 2010
Aid slowly reaching Haitians as desperation
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Pushed to the far edge of
desperation, earthquake-ravaged Haitians dumped decaying
bodies into mass graves and begged for water and food
Friday amid fear that time is running out to avoid chaos
and to rescue anyone still alive in the wreckage.
The U.S. military brought some relief, taking control of
the airport, helping coordinate flights bringing in aid and
evacuating foreigners and the injured. Medical teams,
meanwhile, set up makeshift hospitals, workers started to
clear the streets of corpses and water was being
distributed in pockets of the city.
But the task was enormous.
Aid workers and authorities warned that unless they can
quickly get aid to the people, Port-au-Prince will
degenerate into lawlessness.
There were reports of isolated looting as young men walked
through downtown with machetes, and robbers reportedly shot
one man whose body was left on the street. Survivors also
fought each other for food pulled from the debris.
"I'm getting the sense that if the situation doesn't get
sorted (out) real soon, it will devolve into chaos," said
Steve Matthews, a veteran relief worker with the Christian
aid organization World Vision.
Time also was running out to rescue anyone who may still be
trapped alive in the many buildings in Port-au-Prince that
collapsed in Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 quake.
"Beyond three or four days without water, they'll be pretty
ill," said Dr. Michael VanRooyen of the Harvard
Humanitarian Initiative in Boston. "Around three days would
be where you would see people start to succumb."
An Australian TV crew pulled a healthy 16-month-old girl
from the wreckage of her house Friday -- about 68 hours
after the earthquake struck. In a collapsed house,
neighbors and reporters heard a cry and found an air
pocket: part of the top floor had been held up by a
"I could see a dead body that was there, sort of on top of
the cabinet; I could hear the baby on the left side of the
body screaming," said David Celestino of the Dominican
Republic, who had been working with the TV crew.
Although her parents were dead, Winnie Tilin survived with
only scratches and soon was in the arms of her uncle, whose
pregnant wife also was killed.
"I have to consider her like my baby because mine is
passed," Frantz Tilin told The Associated Press.
As temperatures rose into the high 80s (upper 20s Celsius),
the sickly smell of the dead lingered over Port-au-Prince,
where countless bodies remained unclaimed in the streets.
Hundreds of bloated corpses were stacked outside the city
morgue, and limbs of the dead protruded from crushed
schools and homes.
At a cemetery outside the city, trucks dumped bodies by the
dozens into a mass grave. Elsewhere, people pulled a box
filled with bodies along a road, then used a mechanical
front-loader to lift the box and tip it into a large metal
trash bin. South of the capital, workers burned more than
2,000 bodies in a trash dump.
The Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people were
killed. A third of Haiti's 9 million people may be in need
of aid. As many as half of the buildings in the capital and
other hard-hit areas were damaged or destroyed, according
to the United Nations.
"There are going to be many difficult days ahead," said
President Barack Obama, speaking for the fourth time on the
disaster in three days.
The effort to get aid to the victims has been stymied by
blocked roads, congestion at the airport, limited equipment
and other obstacles. U.N. peacekeepers patrolling the
capital said popular anger was rising, warning aid convoys
to add security to guard against looting.
"People who have not been eating or drinking for almost 50
hours and are already in a very poor situation -- if they
see a truck with something, or if they see a supermarket
which has collapsed, they just rush to get something to
eat," U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in
Tom Osbeck, an Indiana missionary whose Protestant-run
Jesus in Haiti Ministry operates a school north of
Port-au-Prince, said nerves were becoming increasingly
"Even distributing food or water is very dangerous. People
are desperate and will fight to death for a cup of water,"
Tempers flared at one of the capital's functioning gas
stations as drivers tried to jockey their dusty cars into
line. An armed guard brandishing a shotgun intervened to
keep motorists from coming to blows.
Grocery stores were looted clean soon after the quake,
according to Emilia Casella of the U.N. World Food Program.
She said the WFP would start handing out 6,000 tons of food
aid recovered from a damaged warehouse in the city's Cite
Soleil slum and was preparing shipments of enough
ready-to-eat meals to feed 2 million Haitians for a month.
Asked about the concern of frustration spilling into
violence, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said his
peacekeepers, working with Haitian police, "are now taking
charge of law and order in the city."
"I suspect there will be some frustrations felt by the
general population," he added. "We are very much concerned
about that kind of possibility and are taking all possible
precautionary measures. Until now, I think we have so far
not seen major problems."
The U.S. military has several hundred personnel on the
ground, including more than 100 troops from the U.S. 82nd
Airborne Division. Hundreds of sailors, meanwhile, pulled
into Port-au-Prince harbor on the aircraft carrier USS Carl
Within hours, an 82nd Airborne rapid response unit was
handing out food, water and medical supplies from two cargo
pallets outside the airport, a helicopter lifted off with
water to distribute, and a reconnaissance chopper went
searching for drop zones around the capital to move out
more aid. Soldiers said they expected more supplies later
in the day.
At the airport, foreigners waved their passports to guards
as they scrambled to escape the chaos by boarding the
"We've had people crying, people passing out," said Muriel
Sinai, 38, a nurse from Orlando, Florida.
Some 250 Americans were flown to New Jersey's McGuire Air
Force Base on three military planes. U.S. forces in control
of the airport initially blocked French and Canadians from
boarding planes, even though a French military aircraft
stood by. They lifted their cordon after protests from
French and Canadian officials.
The State Department said the U.S. death toll was six and
predicted it will rise.
With hospitals devastated, more than 3,000 injured have
been treated in the Dominican Republic, including Haitian
Senate President Kelly Bastien. A border hospital in Jimani
is overflowing, while a trauma center in Santo Domingo
requested blood donations to keep up with demand.
In Port-au-Prince, 100 people have died while waiting for
treatment at the offices of Doctors Without Borders,
mission director Stefano Zannini said by phone. Open
fractures are the most common injury, he said.
"I can see thousands of them walking in the streets, lost,
asking for help, asking for everything," he said.
There was good news, too: Surgeons performed a complicated
cesarean birth, Zannini said. "I am very proud to share
with you that we were able to save both the lives of the
baby and the mother."
An El Al Boeing 777 landed Friday with 250 Israeli medical
officers and nurses ready to set up a military field
hospital. A reconnaissance team set out to find a site for
the 90-bed facility, which will have a full surgical unit
and the capacity to treat 100 patients at a time.
In front of the collapsed National Palace, thousands of
homeless in makeshift camps pleaded for help. Marimartha
Syrel, a nurse, said nobody had provided even water since
Tuesday. "We can't cook food. We can't do anything." The
sidewalks were littered with excrement left on paper
"They are very hungry," said Rivia Alce, a 21-year-old
street vendor selling gum, cigarettes and rum. If no help
comes, she said, "we will die."
Nearby, a woman with a bowl of water on the sidewalk bathed
a naked girl without soap. Then she washed an elderly
woman, naked but for a sagging pair of white panties.
A block away, a dozen bodies lay bloated and uncovered on
the sidewalk -- one of them with arms reaching out, as if
begging for release.
Rubble spilling over from collapsed buildings blocked
downtown traffic to all but pedestrians. People covered
their faces with scarves to shield themselves from dust and
the stench of decay. Small bands of young men and boys
carrying machetes roamed the streets.
"They are scavenging everything. What can you do?" said
53-year-old Michel Legros, who was waiting for heavy
equipment to excavate his house, where he added that seven
relatives were buried. "I know some of them died."
(Mainichi Japan) January 16, 2010
Frequent victim in the past, Asia to aid
BEIJING (AP) -- Asian leaders cited their own experiences
with natural disasters Thursday in offering help to
quake-shattered Haiti as part of a massive international
effort to alleviate the effects of the catastrophe.
Haitian officials have predicted a horrific death toll of
more than 100,000 in the wake of the magnitude-7 quake
Tuesday that left most of the capital Port-au-Prince in
Haiti's devastation is all too familiar to Indonesia: a
mammoth quake struck off the country's western coast in
2004, spawning a tsunami that killed about 230,000 people
in 14 countries -- half of them in Indonesia.
"As a country that has been itself devastated by a similar
situation, we are absolutely saddened by what's happening
in Haiti," Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said at a
meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in
Vietnam. "We call on the ASEAN community, including
ourselves, of course, to do what we can do to assist them."
President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and
humanitarian effort including military and civilian
emergency teams from across the U.S. The aircraft carrier
USS Carl Vinson was expected to arrive off the coast
Thursday and the Navy said the amphibious assault ship USS
Bataan had been ordered to sail as soon as possible with a
2,000-member Marine unit.
"We have to be there for them in their hour of need," Obama
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton cut short an
extended trip to the Asia-Pacific region to deal with the
earthquake crisis in Haiti, and Defense Secretary Robert
Gates called off a planned trip to Australia where he and
Clinton were to attend an annual summit.
Clinton told reporters in Hawaii on Wednesday that she
would return to Washington to help oversee U.S. relief
efforts instead of continuing on to Papua New Guinea,
Australia and New Zealand as she had initially planned.
Clinton says the United States will do all it can to help
Haiti surmount a "cycle of hope and despair."
The United Nations has released $10 million from its
emergency funds, even as U.N. workers and peacekeeping
troops on the island nation at the time of the quake
struggled with their own losses. The U.N. headquarters
building collapsed, and at least 16 personnel are confirmed
dead, with up to 150 still missing.
"We'll be using whatever roads are passable to get aid to
Port-au-Prince, and if possible we'll bring helicopters
in," said Emilia Casella, a spokeswoman for the U.N. food
agency in Geneva.
Its 200 staff in Haiti were trying to deliver high-energy
biscuits and other supplies, despite looting and the threat
of violence in a nation long plagued by lawlessness.
The Red Cross estimated that some 3 million people will
require aid, ranging from shelter to food and clean water,
and said many Haitians could need relief for a full year.
The World Bank said it would provide $100 million in
emergency aid to Haiti to support recovery and
reconstruction work. Experts would be sent to assess the
scope of the damage and help prioritize where needs are
The global relief effort picked up steam Thursday as a
Chinese chartered plane with emergency relief supplies
landed in Port-au-Prince. British officials said rescue
workers arrived in neighboring Dominican Republic, with
search dogs and heavy equipment. The crew planned to reach
Haiti later in the evening.
Other offers of money and aid poured in from across the
world, including Asia.
"Having been victims of such natural calamities ourselves
in the past few years, we are exchanging information and
views," said Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general for the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Meanwhile, China dispatched a chartered plane loaded up
with 10 tons of tents, food, medical equipment and sniffer
dogs that arrived in Haiti on Thursday. Accompanying the
emergency materials were a 60-member earthquake relief team
that had firsthand experience in the country's own quake
disaster two years ago.
The world had sped to Beijing's aid during its May 2008
quake, which had rumbled across a huge swath of
southwestern China, leaving almost 90,000 people dead or
"Most of the members are very experienced," Liu Xiangyang,
deputy chief of the National Earthquake Disaster Emergency
Rescue Team, told the official Xinhua News Agency before
their departure. China's Red Cross has also offered
emergency funding of $1 million to Haiti.
Meanwhile, Australia pledged an initial $9.3 million for
emergency humanitarian relief and reconstruction
assistance, with about half going for emergency water, food
and shelter, while the remainder will be for rehabilitation
Japan will provide up to $5 million in aid, along with
$330,000 worth of tents and blankets, a Foreign Ministry
official said. A four-member fact-finding mission will also
be sent to determine what Japan can do to help.
South Korea will give emergency humanitarian aid worth $1
million, its Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun said,
and is considering sending rescue teams.
The devastation is widespread, with the sheer number of
dead bodies expected to pose a health and safety problem.
The World Health Organization said it had sent specialists
to help clear the city of corpses, and the International
Red Cross was sending a plane Thursday loaded mainly with
The European Commission has approved $4.37 million while
member states Spain, the Netherlands and Germany promised
Rescue teams from France and Switzerland were on their way,
while Spain dispatched three planeloads of rescuers and 100
tons of tents, blankets and cooking kits.
The Israeli army sent in two planeloads of rescue staff and
equipment to set up a field hospital in Haiti that can
serve up to 500 people a day. The crew will include 220
rescue workers, including 40 military doctors and 24
Israel was sending in an elite Army rescue unit of
engineers and doctors.
The Red Cross federation has asked for $10 million in
emergency donations to help fund its efforts in Haiti. The
IFRC, which represents national Red Cross societies around
the world, said it is still gauging the needs of people hit
by the quake and will deploy specialists in relief
coordination, water and sanitation, shelter,
telecommunications and health as well as set up a field
The International Committee of the Red Cross has launched a
dedicated Web site to help Haitians register and find
missing loved ones.
Canada sent a military reconnaissance team to assess and
planned an initial donation of $4.8 million, with more aid
to flow after reports to Ottawa by military reconnaissance
(Mainichi Japan) January 15, 2010
Haiti quake aid snarled; up to 50,000
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Doctors and search dogs,
troops and rescue teams flew to this devastated land of
dazed, dead and dying people Thursday, finding bottlenecks
everywhere, beginning at a main airport short on jet fuel
and ramp space and without a control tower.
The international Red Cross estimated 45,000 to 50,000
people were killed in Tuesday's cataclysmic earthquake,
based on information from the Haitian Red Cross and
government officials. Hard-pressed recovery teams resorted
to using bulldozers to transport loads of dead.
Worries mounted, meanwhile, about food and water for the
survivors. "People have been almost fighting for water,"
aid worker Fevil Dubien said as he distributed water from a
truck in a northern Port-au-Prince neighborhood.
From Virginia, from France, from China, a handful of rescue
teams were able to get down to work, scouring the rubble
for survivors. In one "small miracle," searchers pulled a
security guard alive from beneath the collapsed concrete
floors of the U.N. peacekeeping headquarters, where many
others were entombed.
But the silence of the dead otherwise was overwhelming in a
city where uncounted bodies littered the streets in the
80-degree heat, and dust-caked arms and legs reached,
frozen and lifeless, from the ruins. Outside the General
Hospital morgue, hundreds of collected corpses blanketed
the parking lot, as the grief-stricken searched among them
for loved ones. Brazilian U.N. peacekeepers, key to city
security, were trying to organize mass burials.
Patience already was wearing thin among the poorest who
were waiting for aid, said David Wimhurst, spokesman for
the U.N. peacekeeping mission.
"They want us to provide them with help, which is, of
course, what we want to do," he said. But they see U.N.
vehicles patrolling the streets to maintain calm, and not
delivering aid, and "they're slowly getting more angry and
impatient," he said.
In Washington, President Barack Obama announced "one of the
largest relief efforts in our recent history," starting
with $100 million in aid. The first of 800 paratroopers of
the 82nd Airborne Division were bound for Haiti from North
Carolina late Thursday, to be followed by more than 2,000
Marines. The American troops "will relieve pressure" on
overworked U.N. elements, Wimhurst said.
From Europe, Asia and the Americas, other governments, the
U.N. and private aid groups were sending planeloads of
high-energy biscuits and other food, tons of water, tents,
blankets, water-purification gear, heavy equipment for
removing debris, helicopters and other transport, and teams
of hundreds of search-and-rescue, medical and other
But two days after much of this ramshackle city was
shattered, the global helping hand was slowed by the poor
roads, airport and seaport of a wretchedly poor nation.
Some 60 aid flights had arrived by midday Thursday, but
they then had to contend with the chokepoint of an
overloaded Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport. At
midday, the Federal Aviation Administration said it was
temporarily halting all civilian flights from the U.S. at
Haiti's request, because the airport was jammed and jet
fuel was limited for return flights. The control tower had
been destroyed in Tuesday's tremor, complicating air
traffic. Civilian relief flights were later allowed to
"There's only so much concrete" for parking planes, U.S.
Air Force Col. Buck Elton said at the airport. "It's a
constant puzzle of trying to move aircraft in and out."
Teams that did land then had to navigate Haiti's inadequate
roads, sometimes blocked by debris or by quake survivors
looking for safe open areas as aftershocks still rumbled
through the city. The U.N. World Food Program said the
quake-damaged seaport made ship deliveries of aid
The looting of shops that broke out after the 7.0-magnitude
quake struck late Tuesday afternoon added to concerns. The
Brazilian military warned aid convoys to add security to
guard against looting by the desperate population.
"There is no other way to get provisions," American Red
Cross representative Matt Marek said of the store looting.
"Even if you have money, those resources are going to be
exhausted in a few days." The city's "ti-marchant," mostly
women who sell food on the streets, were expected to run
out soon. Red Cross officials have estimated one-third of
Haiti's 9 million people are in need of aid.
The quake brought down Port-au-Prince's gleaming white
National Palace and other government buildings, disabling
much of the national leadership. That vacuum was evident
Thursday, as no senior Haitian government officials were
visible at the airport.
"Donations are coming in to the airport here, but there is
not yet a system to get it in," said Kate Conradt, a
spokeswoman for the Save the Children aid group. "It's
necessary to create a structure to stock and distribute
supplies," the Brazilian military said.
Edmond Mulet, a former U.N. peacekeeping chief in Haiti,
arrived Thursday from U.N. headquarters in New York to lead
the relief effort, along with a U.N. disaster coordination
team. The first U.S. military units to arrive took on a
coordinating role at the airport, but State Department
spokesman P.J. Crowley underlined, "We're not taking over
Wimhurst said the Haitian police "are not visible at all,"
no doubt because many had to deal with lost homes and
family members, and law-and-order needs had fallen
completely to the 9,000 U.N. peacekeepers and international
police in Haiti.
Across the sprawling, hilly city, people milled about in
open areas, hopeful for help, sometimes setting up camps
amid piles of salvaged goods, including food scavenged from
the rubble. Small groups by roadsides could be seen burying
dead. Other dust-covered bodies were being dragged down
streets, toward hospitals where relatives hoped to leave
them. Countless remained unburied, stacked up, children's
bodies lying atop mothers, tiny feet poking from blankets.
The injured, meanwhile, waited for treatment in makeshift
holding areas -- outside the General Hospital, for example,
where the stench from piles of dead, just a few yards
(meters) away, wafted over the assembled living. Crews
began removing unclaimed bodies with bulldozers, dumping
them into trucks, possibly for mass burial.
Here and there, small tragedies unfolded. In the
Petionville suburb, friends held back Kettely Clerge -- "I
want to see her," she sobbed -- as neighbors with bare
hands tried to dig out her 9-year-old goddaughter, Harryssa
Keem Clerge, pleading for rescue, from beneath their home's
"There's no police, there's nobody," the hopeless godmother
cried. By day's end, the girl was dead.
At the collapsed U.N. peacekeeping headquarters, an
Estonian guard, Tarmo Joveer, was pulled alive and unhurt
from the ruins at 8 a.m. Thursday, 39 hours after the quake
-- a "small miracle," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in
New York. But U.N. officials reported that 36 other U.N.
personnel, mostly peacekeepers and international police,
were confirmed dead and almost 200 remained missing,
including top staff.
Nearby, firefighters from Fairfax County, Virginia, and a
rescue team from China, with sniffer dogs, clambered
through rubble and searched for signs of life. Two
excavators stood by, ready to dig for survivors -- or dead.
A French team, meanwhile, rescued three people alive from
the wrecked Montana Hotel, U.N. officials reported.
European and Latin American nations reported scores of
their nationals unaccounted for in Haiti, and a handful
confirmed dead. Of the estimated 45,000 Americans in Haiti,
the U.S. Embassy had contacted almost 1,000. Only one
American was confirmed dead, a veteran Foreign Service
officer, Victoria DeLong, killed in her collapsed home.
For the long-suffering people of Haiti, the Western
Hemisphere's poorest nation, shock and disbelief were
giving way to despair.
"We need food. The people are suffering. My neighbors and
friends are suffering," said Sylvain Angerlotte, 22. "We
don't have money. We don't have nothing to eat. We need
But life also went on. Brazilian soldiers helped deliver a
baby girl in an improvised garage-hospital at their base,
just hours after the quake hit. Capt. Fabricio Almeida de
Moura said the child was doing well, but the life of the
mother, who apparently went into labor from the shock of
the tremor, was in danger from bleeding, the Agencia Brasil
news service reported.
The unimaginable scope of the catastrophe left many
Haitians, a fervently religious people, in helpless tears
Reached by The Associated Press from New York, Yael
Talleyrand, a 16-year-old student in Jacmel, on Haiti's
south coast, told of thousands of people made homeless by
the quake and sleeping on an airfield runway, "crying,
praying and I had never seen this in my entire life."
Earlier, she said, one woman had run through Jacmel's
streets screaming, "God, we know you can kill us! We know
you're strongest! You don't need to show us!"
(Mainichi Japan) January 15, 2010
International aid pledges for Haiti quake
A glance at some of the international aid pledges for
victims of the earthquake in Haiti:
-- The U.S. government is making an initial $100 million
relief effort and is sending ships, helicopters, transport
planes and 2,000 Marines.
-- Canada is sending $5 million Canadian (US$4.8 million)
and matching contributions by individual Canadians to
eligible charitable organizations up to a total of $50
million Canadian (US$47 million). Ottawa also is sending
two navy ships, helicopters, transport planes and a
disaster response team.
-- The World Bank is providing a $100 million grant, and
the U.N. is sending $10 million.
-- Britain is sending $10 million. A four-person government
assessment team and 71 rescue specialists along with search
dogs and heavy equipment arrived Thursday.
-- Australia has pledged $9.3 million; Norway, about 30
million kroner ($5.3 million); Japan, up to $5 million;
Italy, 1 million euros ($1.46 million); and the European
Commission, 3 million euros ($4.37 million).
-- The Netherlands and the Italian bishops' conference have
each donated 2 million euros. Denmark has donated 10
million kroner ($1.9 million) and Finland is giving 1.25
million euros ($1.8 million). South Korea has pledged aid
worth $1 million.
-- Spain has pledged 3 million euros ($4.37 million), and
sent rescue teams and 100 tons of equipment. Germany gave
1.5 million euros ($2.17 million) and sent an immediate
-- India and China will each donate $1 million and China is
sending a 60-member relief team with sniffer dogs.
-- Sweden has offered 6 million kronor ($850,000), along
with tents, water purification equipment and medical aid.
It is also sending a team to build a new base to replace
the U.N.'s destroyed headquarters.
-- Irish telecommunications company Digicel said it would
donate $5 million and help repair the phone network.
-- U.S. cell phone users have contributed more than $5
million in $10 increments to the Red Cross for Haiti
disaster relief, by texting the word "Haiti" to the number
-- Venezuela has sent doctors, firefighters and rescue
workers. Mexico will send doctors, search-and-rescue dogs
and infrastructure experts. French President Nicolas
Sarkozy said 400 staff from the public security authority
are being sent, as well a ship with two surgical operating
units, 50 beds for injured and earth-moving equipment.
-- Iceland and Portugal are each sending more than 30
rescue workers. Taiwan has sent 23 rescue workers and two
tons of aid and equipment.
-- Israel plans to open a field hospital and is sending 220
-- A Swiss rescue team is arriving overland from the
Dominican Republic. A flight carrying 40-50 tons of aid
goods is planned for Friday.
-- The International Committee of the Red Cross has 3,000
body bags in the shipment of 40-50 tons of aid scheduled to
leave from Geneva to Haiti on Thursday night.
(Mainichi Japan) January 15, 2010
Trapped Haitian girl dies despite rescue
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Trapped beneath the crumbled
remains of her home, the 9-year-old girl could be heard
begging for rescue as neighbors clawed at sand and debris
with their bare hands.
It had been two days since the earthquake collapsed the
cinderblock home, trapping Haryssa Keem Clerge inside the
basement. Friends and neighbors braved aftershocks to climb
over the rubble, one of hundreds of toppled structures
teetering on the side of a ravine.
In a city full of people desperately waiting for more help
than neighbors can muster, help never came for Haryssa.
Just hours after her screams renewed rescuers' hopes
Thursday, the child's lifeless body was finally pulled from
the mass of concrete and twisted metal. Wrapped in a green
bath towel, it was placed inside a loose desk drawer. With
nowhere to take it, the body was then left on the hood of a
battered Isuzu Trooper.
"There are no police, no anybody," said the child's
despairing godmother, Kettely Clerge. Neighbors had to hold
her back as she walked toward the building's winding,
partially collapsed stairway, wailing: "I want to see her!"
A day earlier, the little girl's mother, Lauranie Jean, was
pulled from the rubble of the same house. She lay moaning
inside a tent Thursday as volunteers rubbed ointment into
open wounds on her sides.
The family has now taken refuge in a dirt playground -- one
of hundreds of open spaces across Port-au-Prince that
people are filling each night to try to avoid the risk of
Haitians living in the capital's growing tent cities say
they do not expect help anytime soon.
"People are waiting for someone to take care of them," said
Michel Reau, 27, who brought his wife and infant child to
the park after their home collapsed. "We are out of food.
We are out of water."
A neighbor, Bellefleur Jean Heber, said Kettely Clerge had
doted on little Haryssa, a bright and lively child whom she
raised as though she were her own daughter. Each day, she
walked the girl to school in their Petionville
neighborhood, where Haryssa was known as a dedicated
As word spread Thursday that the child was still alive,
more than a dozen people raced to help.
Inside the cramped basement, Haryssa was discovered trapped
by a partially collapsed roof. Rescuers got close enough to
pass her water but they could not get food to her before
Heber said nobody expected help from authorities.
"Haiti is an abandoned country," he said. "People are
relying on themselves."
Across Port-au-Prince, similar tragedies unfolded on
Thursday. At the St. Gerard School, Cindy Terasme broke
into sobs when she caught sight of her 14-year-old brother
Jean Gaelle Dersmorne's feet protruding from the rubble.
The child was dead.
So was another schoolgirl known only as Ruth, whose
dust-covered legs dangled lifelessly from the collapsed
wall she was trapped under.
An unknown number of people remain buried after the
magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit Tuesday, collapsing houses,
office buildings and a children's hospital. Haitians used
sledgehammers and their bare hands to search for survivors
or bodies, piling the dead up at roadsides across the city.
The mayor of Port-au-Prince, Muscadin Jean Yves Jason, said
one of his top priorities is to clear the bodies off the
streets. But he said he has nowhere near the resources he
needs to help the injured.
"We have nothing to do our job," said the mayor, who
pleaded for sister cities in the U.S. including Miami, to
send assistance. "We have no materials, no resources,
The city began preparing a mass grave for the dead
Thursday, with backhoes and other heavy equipment creating
space inside a cemetery. Bodies waiting for burial were
piled in heaps of as many as six people, many of them
bloodied. One dead woman's hands were still stretched out
as if exclaiming in grief.
A parade of pick-up trucks, push carts and people carrying
bodies on makeshift shelters added to the piles one by one.
(Mainichi Japan) January 15, 2010
Haiti quake: thousands feared dead, many trapped
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Dazed survivors wandered past
dead bodies in rubble-strewn streets Wednesday, crying for
loved ones, and rescuers searched collapsed buildings as
officials feared the death toll from Haiti's devastating
earthquake could reach into the tens of thousands.
The first cargo planes with food, water, medical supplies,
shelter and sniffer dogs headed to the Western Hemisphere's
poorest nation a day after the magnitude-7 quake flattened
much of the capital of 2 million people.
Tuesday's earthquake brought down buildings great and small
-- from shacks in shantytowns to President Rene Preval's
gleaming white National Palace, where a dome tilted
ominously above the manicured grounds.
Hospitals, schools and the main prison collapsed. The
capital's Roman Catholic archbishop was killed when his
office and the main cathedral fell. The head of the U.N.
peacekeeping mission was missing in the ruins of the
organization's multistory headquarters.
At a triage center improvised in a hotel parking lot,
people with cuts, broken bones and crushed ribs moaned
under tent-like covers fashioned from bloody sheets.
"I can't take it any more. My back hurts too much," said
Alex Georges, 28, who was still waiting for treatment a day
after the school he was in collapsed and killed 11
classmates. A body lay a few feet away.
"This is much worse than a hurricane," said doctors'
assistant Jimitre Coquillon. "There's no water. There's
nothing. Thirsty people are going to die."
Bodies were everywhere in Port-au-Prince: those of tiny
children adjacent to schools, women in the rubble-strewn
streets with stunned expressions frozen on their faces, men
hidden beneath plastic tarps and cotton sheets.
Haiti's leaders struggled to comprehend the extent of the
catastrophe -- the worst earthquake to hit the country in
200 years -- even as aftershocks still reverberated.
"It's incredible," Preval told CNN. "A lot of houses
destroyed, hospitals, schools, personal homes. A lot of
people in the street dead. ... I'm still looking to
understand the magnitude of the event and how to manage."
Preval said thousands of people were probably killed.
Leading Sen. Youri Latortue told The Associated Press that
500,000 could be dead, but conceded that nobody really
"Let's say that it's too early to give a number," Preval
Haiti seems especially prone to catastrophe -- from natural
disasters like hurricanes, storms, floods and mudslides to
crushing poverty, unstable governments, poor building
standards and low literacy rates.
In Petionville, next to the capital, people used
sledgehammers and their bare hands to dig through a
collapsed commercial center, tossing aside mattresses and
office supplies. More than a dozen cars were entombed,
including a U.N. truck.
Nearby, about 200 survivors, including many children,
huddled in a theater parking lot using sheets to rig
makeshift tents and shield themselves from the sun.
Looting began almost as quickly as the quake struck at 4:53
p.m. and people were seen carrying food from collapsed
buildings. Many lugged what they could salvage and stacked
it around them as they slept in streets and parks.
People streamed into the Haitian countryside, where wooden
and cinderblock shacks showed little sign of damage. Many
balanced suitcases and other belongings on their heads.
Ambulances and U.N. trucks raced in the opposite direction,
About 3,000 police and international peacekeepers cleared
debris, directed traffic and maintained security in the
capital. But law enforcement was stretched thin even before
the quake and would be ill-equipped to deal with major
An American aid worker was trapped for about 10 hours under
the rubble of her mission house before she was rescued by
her husband, who told CBS' "Early Show" that he drove 100
miles (160 kilometers) to Port-au-Prince to find her. Frank
Thorp said he dug for more than an hour to free his wife,
Jillian, and a co-worker, from under about a foot of
The international Red Cross said a third of the country's 9
million people may need emergency aid, a burden that would
test any nation and a crushing catastrophe for impoverished
President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and
humanitarian effort and American officials said they were
responding with ships, helicopters, transport planes and a
2,000-member Marine unit, as well as civilian emergency
teams from across the U.S.
"We have to be there for them in their hour of need," Obama
The first C-130 plane carrying part of a military
assessment team arrived in Haiti, the U.S. Southern Command
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, was
expected to arrive off the coast of Haiti on Thursday. More
U.S. Navy ships were under way as well, the U.S. Southern
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter evacuated four critically
injured U.S. Embassy staff to the hospital on the U.S.
Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the military has
been detaining suspected terrorists.
A small contingent of U.S. ground troops could be on their
way soon, although it was unclear whether they would be
used for security operations or humanitarian efforts.
Cuba, which already had hundreds of doctors in Haiti,
treated the injured in field hospitals. The aid group
Doctors Without Borders helped quake victims in tent
clinics set up to replace its damaged facilities.
Port-au-Prince's ruined buildings fell on both the poor and
the prominent: The body of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot,
63, was found in the ruins of his office, according to the
Rev. Pierre Le Beller at Miot's order, the Saint Jacques
Missionary Center in Landivisiau, France.
Senate President Kelly Bastien was among those trapped
alive inside the Parliament building, and a day later had
stopped responding to rescuers' cries, Latortue said.
Even the main prison in the capital fell down, "and there
are reports of escaped inmates," U.N. humanitarian
spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva.
Haiti's quake refugees likely will face an increased risk
of dengue fever, malaria and measles -- problems that
plagued the impoverished country before, said Kimberley
Shoaf, associate director of the UCLA Center for Public
Health and Disasters.
Some of the biggest immediate health threats include
respiratory disease from inhaling dust from collapsed
buildings and diarrhea from drinking contaminated water.
She said swamped clinics may not be able to give people
help they need for broken bones and other injuries, leading
to complications -- a warning borne out on the streets
where people, some covered in the dust of collapsed
buildings, nursed wounds that bled through crude bandages.
The U.N.'s 9,000-member peacekeeping force sent patrols
across the capital's streets while securing the airport,
port and main buildings -- but also struggled to rescue
colleagues from their collapsed headquarters.
U.N. mission head Hedi Annabi of Tunisia was among about
150 people missing, mostly at the headquarters building,
said peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy. Brazilian Foreign
Minister Celso Amorim said Annabi's chief deputy, Luis
Carlos da Costa, was missing as well.
Le Roy said only about 10 people had been pulled out, many
of them badly injured.
Brazil's army reported that at least 11 of its peacekeepers
were killed. Jordan's official news agency said three of
its peacekeepers were died.
The U.S. Embassy had no confirmed reports of deaths among
the estimated 40,000-45,000 Americans who live in Haiti,
but many were struggling to find a way out of the country.
Dozens were forced to abandon a Tuesday evening flight to
Miami when the earthquake damaged the airport.
Kency Germain of Eatontown, N.J., kept his family -- five
adults and three children including his wife -- at the
airport until nearly 3 a.m. They made their way to the U.S.
Embassy, where they were allowed to sleep briefly near the
"It was safer in there (the airport) than it was out there
in Port-au-Prince," Germain said.
(Mainichi Japan) January 14, 2010
Panic, looting and triage after major Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- The tiny bodies of children
lay in piles next to the ruins of their collapsed school.
People with faces covered by white dust and the blood of
open wounds roamed the streets. Frantic doctors wrapped
heads and stitched up sliced limbs in a hotel parking lot.
The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, still
struggling to recover from the relentless strikes of four
catastrophic storms in 2008, was a picture of heartbreaking
devastation Wednesday after a magnitude-7 earthquake.
Tuesday's quake left a landscape of collapsed buildings --
hospitals, schools, churches, ramshackle homes, even the
gleaming national palace -- the rubble sending up a white
cloud that shrouded the entire capital.
On Wednesday, ambulances weaved in and out of crowds,
swerving to miss the bodies lying in street and the men on
foot who lugged stretchers bearing some of the injured.
Shocked survivors wandered about in a daze, some wailing
the names of loved ones, praying or calling for help.
Others with injuries fast growing into infections sat by
the roadside, waiting for doctors who were not sure to
Search-and-rescue helicopters buzzed over the bodies of
partially clothed victims who lay face-down in mounds of
rubble and twisted steel.
Everywhere, there was panic, urgency, pleas for help.
"Thousands of people poured out into the streets, crying,
carrying bloody bodies, looking for anyone who could help
them," Bob Poff, divisional director of disaster services
in Haiti for the Salvation Army, said in a posting on the
agency's Web site.
Poff wrote that he was driving down the mountain from
Petionville, a hillside city bordering the capital, when
the earthquake struck.
"Our truck was being tossed to and fro like a toy, and when
it stopped, I looked out the windows to see buildings
'pancaking' down," he wrote.
Poff said he and others piled bodies into the back of his
truck and took them down the hill, hoping to get them
There was no reliable count, but officials feared
thousands, maybe tens of thousands, had died in the quake.
Some Haitian leaders suggested the figure could be higher
than 100,000. In the chaos, doctors rushed to tend to the
The parking lot of Port-au-Prince's Hotel Villa Creole
became a triage center. Under tents fashioned from bloody
sheets, dozens lay moaning from the pain of cuts in their
heads, broken bones and crushed ribs.
"I can't take it any more. My back hurts too much," said
Alex Georges, 28, who had lain on the parking lot's sloping
blacktop for more than a day waiting for help. Just a few
feet away lay the dead body of another man who appeared to
be about his age.
When the quake struck just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Georges
he was in a meeting with about 30 other students at a
school in the neighborhood of Morne Hercule. The roof fell
in, he said, killing 11 of his classmates instantly and
critically injuring him and others.
Several thousand Haitian police and international
peacekeepers poured into the streets Wednesday to clear
debris, direct traffic and maintain security. But there was
only so much they could do: Looters prowled through shops,
then blended into crowds of desperate refugees lugging
salvaged possessions. The main prison in the capital fell,
and there were reports of escaped inmates, U.N.
humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva.
Haitians who could still walk were streaming out of the
capital by the hundreds, many of them balancing suitcases
and other belongings on their heads as they headed down one
of the capital's main streets. Police shouted orders to
keep traffic moving at congested intersections as
ambulances and United Nations trucks raced toward downtown
In Petionville, people used sledgehammers and their bare
hands to excavate a collapsed commercial center, scampering
across the rubble as they tossed aside mattresses and
office supplies. More than a dozen cars and a U.N. truck
were buried underneath.
Up the hill, about 200 victims, including many small
children, huddled together in a theater parking lot and
rigged tarps out of bed sheets to protect themselves from
the scorching sun.
"The immediate need is to rescue people trapped in the
rubble, then to get people food and water," Sophie Perez,
Haiti director of the U.S.-based humanitarian organization
CARE, told her colleagues in an e-mail.
"Everything is urgent."
(Mainichi Japan) January 14, 2010
16 UN personnel killed, 150 missing in
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. chief said 16 U.N.
personnel were confirmed dead late Wednesday in the
earthquake that decimated Haiti's capital, with 100 to 150
U.N. workers still unaccounted for, including the mission
chief and his deputy.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that 11 Brazilian
peacekeepers and five international police officers --
three from Jordan and one each from Chad and Argentina --
were killed in the "horrendous" quake.
U.N. officials said 56 others were injured. Seven who were
seriously hurt were evacuated from the country, they said.
"Many continue to be trapped inside U.N. headquarters and
other buildings," said Ban, noting that includes the U.N.'s
mission chief, Hedi Annabi, and his chief deputy, Luis
Carlos da Costa. "Other peacekeepers and civilian staff
from many member states remain unaccounted for."
U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said at least 10
people were pulled alive on Wednesday from the lower floors
of the five-story headquarters building for the U.N.
peacekeeping mission, which collapsed in Tuesday's
magnitude 7.0 earthquake quake.
Annabi, a Tunisian diplomat who has worked for the U.N. for
28 years, and da Costa, a Brazilian whose U.N. career spans
four decades, were missing. Also unaccounted for was an
eight-member police delegation from China that Annabi was
meeting in an office on the headquarters' top floor when it
collapsed, U.N. officials said.
"It is our estimate that around hundreds of people were
still working inside the building," Ban said. "Therefore it
will be in the range of 100 to 150 that I'm quite concerned
Ban said he was immediately dispatching Assistant
Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mullet, who was
Annabi's predecessor in Haiti, to Port-au-Prince to take
over as acting chief of the U.N. mission and direct the
world body's emergency response starting Thursday morning.
"Most urgently is the emergency search and rescue: People
buried under the rubble are still alive. We must save them,
as many as possible, and we must move immediately," Ban
said. "To the people of Haiti, I say this: We are with you.
We are working quickly, as fast as humanly possible."
Ban said one Chinese and at least two U.S. search and
rescue teams should have arrived in Haiti by Wednesday
night, with two more U.S. teams expected to arrive
Thursday. He said Mullet would try to meet with Haitian
President Rene Preval and other government leaders
immediately after his arrival. Ban said his office was
unable to directly contact Preval.
Ban's former spokeswoman, Michele Montas, a well-known
Haitian journalist, was visiting family when the quake
struck. In an e-mail received by U.N. staff late Wednesday
afternoon, Montas said she was OK but Port-au-Prince "is 80
percent destroyed," said Montas' successor, U.N. spokesman
Martin Nesirky said.
"Saw hundreds of bodies in the street this morning and
people trying to reach survivors under buildings and
carrying the wounded on doors and makeshift stretchers.
Most everything above one-story has been leveled," and
there have been "more than 30 aftershocks," Montas wrote in
an e-mail as read aloud to reporters by Nesirky.
Le Roy said the Villa Prive and the Hotel Montana, where a
large number of U.N. staff lived, also were damaged. He
said it was not known how many U.N. personnel were in the
buildings at the time.
Helen Clark, head of the U.N. Development Program, said 38
UNDP staff are unaccounted for, including 10 believed to
have been in the building adjacent to the agency's main
office, which collapsed.
The U.N.'s Haitian mission -- spread across the country --
includes 7,000 peacekeeping troops, 2,000 international
police, 490 international civilian staffers, 1,200 local
civilian staffers and 200 U.N. volunteers, he said. The
force was brought in after a bloody 2004 rebellion
following decades of violence and poverty in the nation.
Le Roy said the 3,000 troops and police in Port-au-Prince
are securing the airport and port, patrolling, and helping
to clear roads in addition to digging in the rubble of the
collapsed headquarters building.
The U.N. is operating out of its logistics base near the
airport, which was not seriously damaged, he said.
Susanna Malcorra, the undersecretary-general for the
department that staffs and equips U.N. field-based peace
operations, said the Brazilian peacekeeping contingent
includes an engineering unit which is moving "with a lot of
caution" at the toppled headquarters building because they
don't have the expertise in dealing with people trapped
under rubble nor the specific tools to handle it, including
sensors to listen for signs of life.
The engineers are trying "to ensure that they don't produce
more damage to the building than has already happened," she
"We need guidance from the rescue teams to make sure that
we maximize the use of our engineers properly," Malcorra
Ban urged the international community "to come to Haiti's
aid in this hour of need" and announced that the U.N. would
provide $10 million for immediate relief from its emergency
fund "to kickstart" the global response.
Late Wednesday, Ban met with former U.S. president Bill
Clinton, his special envoy to Haiti, and they then attended
a meeting of the General Assembly where many countries
announced pledges of aid to the devastated country.
Clinton, who has been focusing on raising money to rebuild
Haiti after devastating cyclones in 2008, said "maybe a
third of the country" has been affected by the quake. He
urged people to send cash -- not supplies -- to buy food,
water, shelter materials and first aid supplies.
He urged member nations to provide Haiti the aid they
previously pledged. "We need those commitments," Clinton
(Mainichi Japan) January 14, 2010