Haiti Earthquake Today: News Update on Haiti, Exodus & Aid
January 21st update
As the voices trapped in under the rubble grow dim and as the miracle rescues get fewer and fewer the task at hand in Haiti turns from rescue to helping the homeless, providing aid, and treating the injured.
A massive exodus is underway for the people in Haiti as the government tries to reassert some authority and help the homeless Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are on the move, leaving Port-Au-Prince and heading towards the countryside. The Daily Telegraph reports,
"The government is identifying sites to erect a series of temporary villages for up to 400,000 in the countryside, each holding up to 10,000 people.
Meanwhile getting Aid through continues to be a challenge as because of a crumbling infrastructure, damaged roads, security concerns, the scale of the earthquake itself, and clogged airports. Co-operation between aid agencies has been an issue too. According to the BBC Doctors Without Borders expressed concern saying the need for getting U.S. Troops in quickly has come at the expense of delivering aid.
"Everything has been mixed together and the urgent and vital attention to the people have been delayed while military logistics - which is useful but not on day three, not on day four, but maybe on day eight - has really jammed the airport and led to this mismanagement."
MSF say one of its planes carrying 12 tonnes of medical supplies was repeatedly turned away from the airport despite having prior permission to land.
John O'Shea of Goal said the failure of the UN and US to work together was leading to "a situation of utter chaos".
The UN has dismissed such criticism, saying it "underestimated the logistical difficulties" and that the US was the only country in the region capable of providing logistical support on the scale needed.
"We are not talking about politics, this is humanitarian. Our goal is to delivery assistance as soon as possible and co-ordination is vital - without it you can't get the right aid to the most vulnerable," said spokeswoman Ms Byrs.
January 20th update
A major aftershock hit Haiti, a second 6.1 earthquake today, causing more fear and panic than damage and injuries. As the relief effort continues there are questions about another big problem is the growing number of Haitian orphans.
January 19th update
United States military have touched down at the Presidential Palace in Port-Au-Prince part of a 10,000 strong force designed to provide security to earthquake damaged Haiti. Meanwhile, other troops from the USA dropped emergency food and water supplies via helicopter to desperate crowds. Former President Clinton is on tour of Haitian hospitals part of his role as the U.N. special envoy to Haiti. Clinton says the pace and scope of aid distribution needs to improve.
Meanwhile the Canadian military is also in Haiti in Jacmel, outside of Port-Au-Prince, setting up a field hospital and other recovery efforts. International aid agencies say they are still having tremendous challenges delivering relief despite the stepped up military presence. On Monday, about 180 flights touched down at the airport, 233,000 bottles of water, 140,000 meals were distributed by the U.S. military. The port is expected to open by the end of the week.
January 18th update:
Revised Death Toll: The European Union estimates put the death toll in Haiti is at 200,000 - the grim reality of counting the dead is being overshadowed by helping the injured, rescuing those trapped in debris, and providing security. Aid agencies like Doctors Without Borders are finding it difficult to get aid in, security is an ongoing concern and the fuel, food and water shortages are pressing problems.
January 17th 2010 update:
Doctors Without Borders Cargo Plane Stranded The NGO reported that one of their cargo planes was unable to land in Port-au-Prince and had to rerouted to the Dominican Republic. A second cargo plane has since been able to land in Haiti.
70 People Found in Rescue Efforts There has been some good news coming from the Haiti earthquake. Rescue workers managed to find 70 people from damaged buildings. Rescue workers pulled people out of the remains of a collapsed supermarket.
January 16th 2010 update:
President Obama and former presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton have come together to create the ClintonBushHatitFund, and to encourage Americans to give all that they can to the people of Haiti.
The President of Haiti has said that an estimated death toll of 100,000 people could be a very conservative estimate and that the death toll could reach over 200,000.
Aid is starting to reach the people of Haiti, although very slowly, and the United Nations have been seen patrolling the streets trying to keep order. Rescue efforts are continuing but time is running out to save people still trapped in the rubble.
The most dire stiuation at the moment is getting enough food, water and medical supplies to the survivors.
January 15th 2010:
Haiti continue to struggle as the earthquake news continues to be grim. The death toll keeps climbing, the number of missing is deeply troubling, and though relief efforts have kicked into gear they have hampered by access to the airport and to travel throughout earthquake ravaged Haiti.
Meanwhile, Haitians are left largely to fend for themselves. Earthquake news reports talk about death, despair and fear.
Here is a quick run down of the latest Haiti Earthquake News
Haiti Earthquake News: Death Toll -
CNN is now reporting mass graves beginning to appear in Haiti, meanwhile the death toll though pegged at 50 thousand, it will likely climb as the rescue and recovery effort kicks in. Estimates are that the death toll will likely hit 100,000 people.
Haiti Earthquake News: Number of Missing.
This is a very difficult number to assess. Part of is divided into native Haitians who are missing and foreigners who are currently in Haiti an easier number to confirm In Canada, the government estimates that 1,500 Canadians are unaccounted for. About 4,000 Americans are in Haiti with 450 evacuated so far. The Globe and Mail has a country by country list of the missing. And Websites, that help people track down that help people contact missing loved ones are being flooded
Haiti Earthquake News: Relief Efforts.
The Unites States says it is sending 10,000 troops to Haiti including the U.S. Airborne. The larger 10,000 troops should arrive by Monday off of Haiti's coast. The largest single non-government NGO in Haiti is Doctors Without Borders (MSF), with 800 medial workers and 4 hospitals (MSF hospitals sustained damage and workers are missing). Doctors Without Borders has landed two cargo planes with supplies in Port-Au-Prince. It also has an inflatable hospital that is en route.
Haiti Earthquake News: Security.
On the one hand it is remarkable that more reports of looting and security issues have not surface but it looks like that is about to change. There was the devastated prison that 1,000 inmates fled. Haiti has now standing army instead relying on UN Peacekeepers (the UN has its own death toll ) and a very nascent police force. And now the Miami Herald is reporting that the security situation in Port-Au-Prince is beginning to crumble.
Eyewitnesses in Port-au-Prince said frustrated survivors had blocked some roads with corpses and groups of men were spotted roaming the streets with machetes.
Haiti Earthquake News: Fundraisng.
The money for Haiti earthquake relief is pouring in from a variety by a variety of methods, including over $3 million from text message donations, to a variety of organizations especially the American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the Clinton Foundation. Celebrities are doing there part as well from George Clooney to Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie. Meanwhile, donors are encountering Haiti donation scams as well. Social Media sites like Facebook have become information resources for earthquake news.