Survivors struggle while awaiting aid in Haiti - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Survivors struggle while awaiting aid in Haiti


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Dozens of aid flights have arrived in Haiti, but the small damaged airport, poor roads and a damaged port are slowing the delivery of aid.

The airport is short on jet fuel and ramp space. The control tower was destroyed by Tuesday's killer quake. Flight operations have been taken over by the U.S. military.

The international Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people have been killed. Hard-pressed recovery teams have resorted to using bulldozers to transport loads of dead.

Uncounted bodies litter the streets in the 80-degree heat. And dust-caked arms of lifeless victims reach from ruins. Brazilian U.N. peacekeepers are organizing mass burials.

The injured, meanwhile, are waiting for treatment in makeshift holding areas outside the General Hospital where the stench from piles of dead is inescapable.

Frustration is beginning to mount among some desperate for water and food. Some are scavenging flattened shops looking for provisions.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- More than two days after the Haiti earthquake, the bodies of some of the dead are still in the streets of the capital, often covered by a white cloth.

In other cases, people are dragging dust-covered bodies along the road toward the morgue. there, people have been hunting for relatives among the victims, just a few feet from where badly injured victims have waited for treatment by a doctor from the neighboring hospital.

And some victims are being buried by family members along the road, or in nearby hills.

It's been mostly calm in the Haitian capital, which is often a chaotic place.

There's been widespread looting of collapsed buildings, but an American Red Cross official points out that there's no other way to get provisions. And he says undamaged shops have mostly been left alone.

Still, some aid groups are expressing concern about security. An Oxfam spokesman says it's "dangerous at night" in the capital, with widespread looting.


GENEVA (AP) -- The Red Cross federation says it estimates there have been 45,000-50,000 deaths in the Haitian earthquake.

Spokesman Jean-Luc Martinage says the Haitian Red Cross came up with the estimate based on information from a wide network of volunteers across the quake-stricken capital of Port-au-Prince.

Martinage says it also is a number that government ministers have been using.

He said Thursday that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies has yet to determine the actual number of deaths.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Haiti's often-chaotic capital is surprisingly calm in the aftermath of the massive earthquake.

Journalists in Port-au-Prince says they've heard little or no gunfire and have seen no major violence.

Looting began immediately after Tuesday's quake, with people looking for food in collapsed buildings, but aid workers say there have been few disturbances.

Neighbors and volunteers are digging through the rubble -- often with bare hands-- to free trapped survivors. Others are carrying the dead to nearby hills for impromptu burials.

U.N. peacekeepers from Brazil warn that could lead to an epidemic, although the Red Cross says the bodies of people who have died in disasters don't spread disease because they died of trauma.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Aid from around the globe is showing up in earthquake-devastated Haiti, but not without problems.

It took six hours to unload a Chinese aid plane because the airport lacked the needed equipment. That could mean possible bottlenecks as more relief flights reach Haiti. The airport was damaged in Tuesday's massive quake.

Ship deliveries are impossible. The capital's port is closed because of damage.

Trucks carrying police and U.N. workers are often stuck in traffic because roads are clogged with pedestrians and vehicles.

Officials from a telecommunications provider says calls to emergency services aren't getting through because systems that connect different phone networks aren't working.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Bodies are everywhere in Port-au-Prince following the massive earthquake that hit Haiti earlier this week.

The bodies of children lay next to schools, while some bodies in the streets are hidden under tarps and sheets.

Survivors have set up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food being scavenged from the rubble.

Near the capital city, about 200 people huddled in a theater parking lot using sheets to rig tents and shield themselves from the sun in 90-degree heat.

A doctor's assistant working at a makeshift triage center says the destruction is much worse than a hurricane. In his words, "There's no water. There's nothing. Thirsty people are going to die."


GENEVA (AP) -- The U.N. says rescue workers and relief goods are pouring into Haiti from around the world, but aid workers are running into huge problems reaching people trapped under buildings or feeding hungry survivors.

U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs called quake-hit Haiti a logistical nightmare.

The World Food Program said Thursday that damage to Haiti's port in the capital Port-au-Prince is preventing ship deliveries to quake-struck region. It said the city's airport is open but straining to handle dozens of incoming flights of supplies and rescuers.

Desperate quake survivors, fearing more temblors, are also standing in the middle of roads and slowing the transport of food and other crucial aid.

The World Health Organization said heavy damage to at least eight Port-au-Prince hospitals is slowing doctors' ability to treat the thousands of injured.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Survivors of Haiti's earthquake have been struggling to save their friends, relatives and neighbors, even as they await promised aid from afar.

People have been using sledgehammers and their bare hands to try to find victims in the rubble.

Survivors have been carrying the wounded to hospitals in wheelbarrows and on doors used as stretchers. The police have been turning their pickup trucks into ambulances.

And if there were any organized efforts to distribute food or water, they were not visible yesterday. Looting had begun immediately after the quake, as people carried food from collapsed buildings.

As darkness fell last night, survivors in Haiti's capital set up camps amid piles of salvaged goods. Thousands of people have gathered on blankets outside the crumpled presidential palace. Hundreds of them waved their hands and sang hymns in a joyful, even defiant tone.


MIAMI (AP) -- Communications remains a major problem in the wake of Haiti's devastating earthquake.

Officials say cell phone systems that connect different phone networks are not working because the trunk lines that connect the systems are down. Call after call from victims seeking help is not getting through.

But the officials say people on the same network may have an easier time reaching each other.

The clock may be ticking for both the systems and individual cell phones. Generators running some of the systems may not be working soon, and batteries in people's phones will run out with no way to recharge them.

One company hopes to post phone numbers of people who are still making calls so loved ones will at least know someone has been trying to contact them from a familiar phone.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- The aid effort is ramping to help a reeling Haiti recover from its massive earthquake.

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is expected off the coast Thursday afternoon, and more U.S. Navy ships are under way. Among them is one carrying 2,000 Marines who may help provide support and security.

The first cargo planes with food, water, medical supplies, shelter and sniffer dogs are already on scene. But the demand for help of all kinds still far outstrips supply. Some survivors have been wheelbarrowed to the few hospitals still operating. Police officers are using their pickups as ambulances.

One doctor's assistant says, "This is much worse than a hurricane." He says there's no water and "Thirsty people are going to die."


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Cargo planes from around the world are headed to Haiti with food, water, medical supplies, shelter and sniffer dogs. The response comes just over a day after a massive earthquake.

The first cargo plane carrying part of a U.S. military assessment team has arrived. That's the word from officials with the U.S. Southern Command.

Meanwhile, there is desperation in Port-au-Prince. Much of the capital has been flattened by the magnitude-7 quake. Dazed survivors are wandering past bodies in rubble-strewn streets. They are crying for loved ones. Rescuers are searching collapsed buildings for victims.

The death toll could reach tens of thousands. Among the dead are at least 14 U.N. personnel and the capital's Roman Catholic archbishop.

Some of the injured are being treated in open areas such as parking lots. But most are unattended. The Red Cross said it has run out of medical supplies.

About 3,000 police and international peacekeepers cleared debris, directed traffic and maintained security in the capital.

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