UPDATE: US Air Force resorts to air drop of aid in Haiti - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: US Air Force resorts to air drop of aid in Haiti


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- The U.S. Air Force has resorted to an air drop of aid in Haiti.

A C-17 cargo plane from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., has parachuted pallets of food and water into an area outside Port-au-Prince secured by U.S. forces. The military has been reluctant to use air drops for fear of drawing unruly crowds.

The U.N. World Food Program says it needs 100 million prepared meals over the next 30 days. It's asking for more government donations.

Doctors treating the seriously injured are in desperate need of supplies including surgical instruments, anesthesia gear, alcohol, sutures, and saws.

Former President Bill Clinton said during a visit Monday that medical staffers had to use vodka to sterilize equipment. The medical group Partners in Health says more than 1,000 patients are awaiting surgery at a temporary hospital.

Authorities estimate 200,000 have been killed and 1.5 million are homeless. Some 70,000 bodies have been recovered and trucked off to mass graves.


ROME (AP) -- The U.N. food agency has reached an agreement with the U.S.-run airport in Haiti's capital to give priority to humanitarian aid flights.

The deal came after the U.S. military was criticized for letting its planes and rescue aircraft land first.

The head of the World Food Program says an air slot system has been established to make sure that planes carrying food and medicine get top priority. A similar system was used after the Indonesian tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake.

The U.S. military has taken over the airport in Port-au-Prince and incoming flights have to register with the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Over the weekend, the aid group Doctors Without Borders complained of skewed priorities and a supply bottleneck. French, Brazilian and other officials complained that the airport refused to let their aid planes land, diverting many flights to the Dominican Republic, a day's drive away.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Looting is spreading to more areas of downtown Port-au-Prince.

Hundreds of young men and boys have been climbing broken walls to break into shops and take whatever they can find.

One sought-after item is toothpaste. People in the Haitian capital smear it under their noses to fend off the stench of decaying bodies.

In one location, youths fought over a stock of rum, using broken bottles, machetes and razors. Police fired shots into the air to break up the crowd.

One man who held a broken wooden plank with nails, using it as a weapon to try to protect his bottle of rum, said he was drinking as much as he can. He said, "It gives courage."

Despite the looting, the U.S. Army's on-the-ground commander in Haiti says the capital is seeing less violence than before the earthquake. Lt. Gen. Ken Keen says there's gang violence now, but there was gang violence before the quake.


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- As more troops, doctors and aid workers flow into Haiti, people are lining up at the U.S. embassy hoping to get out.

Hundreds of American citizens, and people claiming to be from the U.S., are outside the embassy in Port-Au-Prince waving their identification papers, hoping to get on a flight out of the earthquake ravaged country.

The Pan American Health Organization estimates between 50,000 and 100,000 people died in the earthquake six days ago.

The local director of World Food Program says her group is planning a tent camp for 100,000 people on the outskirts of the capital to provide shelter to at least some of the homeless earthquake victims.

Frustration over the slow delivery of food and medical supplies is on the increase in the streets of the capital.

Financial pledges continue to grow, with the European Union pledge today topping $500 million, and France saying it's willing to forgive Haiti's debt of more than $55 million.


PORT-AU-PRINCE (WKOW) -- Around 2,000 U.S. Marines are expected to arrive in Haiti Monday to help relief efforts on the ground and to reinforce the 1,000 additional troops who have been on land since the weekend.

The Pan American Health Organization estimates between 50,000 and 100,000 people died in Tuesday's 7.0 earthquake. But many people who survived are barely clinging to life and thousands more have no food, water or shelter.

The flow of food remains slow due to bottlenecks at the airport. Daily food deliveries are needed for an estimated 2 million people.

The troop increase, as well as a request for more U.N. peacekeepers comes a day after sporadic violence and looting in Haiti's capitol.

The European Union has pledged nearly half billion dollars in aid. Individual countries, like France and Britain, are also promising another $130 million.

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