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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 14, 2010

AID CREEPS INTO TO HAITI

NPR - In Port-au-Prince, there were few apparent signs so far of an organized plan to bring food and water to the 3 million or so Haitians that the International Red Cross estimates need emergency assistance.

"There is no government aid out here bringing anything to the people," said NPR's Carrie Kahn, reporting from Port-au-Prince. "They've been three days now without food and water."

Kahn said survivors were wandering the streets in desperate search of water, food and medical care. "You go into every building, you go down every corner, and there are people wailing, crying, bandaged up, and there are no doctors to help them," she said.

Kahn visited one clinic packed with several dozen patients lying on mattresses on the floor, many of them bleeding and moaning, but there were no doctors in sight. One 8-year-old girl lost her whole family - 11 people - in the quake.

NPR's Jason Beaubien, who drove into Haiti from the neighboring Dominican Republic, said he saw increasing signs of destruction as he neared Port-au-Prince. "You start to see it about 20 miles out from the capital," he said. "It gets more and more intense the closer you get to the center of the city."
On The Ground

Haiti's Red Cross estimated that 45,000 to 50,00 people may have been killed in Tuesday's earthquake.

At least eight hospitals in Port-au-Prince were badly damaged. Aid groups are setting up field hospitals and tent clinics.

The capital's port is too heavily damaged to receive aid deliveries, and the airport is straining to handle dozens of incoming flights of rescue teams and supplies.
Beaubien said that, judging from the state of the road, it seemed unlikely that it would be an option to truck supplies into Haiti from the Dominican side.

Witnesses say there's been little sign of security forces in the capital. Survivor Pierre Brisson told NPR's Melissa Block that he has seen a few police and U.N. peacekeeping patrols, but that the city is calm, for the most part. "It seems that we are still stunned by what happened," he said. "I am afraid of the reaction as time goes by, when needs will be greater and despair will set in."

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