Haiti Photo Update: Searching, Waiting And Praying

Is looting the proper term, when all the stores are in shambles and there's nothing else to eat? It's a tricky ethical question, that we won't attempt to answer here. But NPR photographer David Gilkey's latest photos from Haiti hit on all sides of the matter.

  • A Haitian man grips his knife as he prepares to enter a shop near downtown Port-au-Prince Sunday.
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    A Haitian man grips his knife as he prepares to enter a shop near downtown Port-au-Prince Sunday.
    All photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • He emerges with a bag of goods, prepared to defend himself from others seeking food.
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    He emerges with a bag of goods, prepared to defend himself from others seeking food.
  • Even after police fire shots in the air, another group returns to the building, passing the items out as quickly as they can.
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    Even after police fire shots in the air, another group returns to the building, passing the items out as quickly as they can.
  • A Haitian man, draped in a French flag, guards a government building with a shotgun near the Port-au-Prince waterfront.
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    A Haitian man, draped in a French flag, guards a government building with a shotgun near the Port-au-Prince waterfront.
  • A man who has retrieved a pair of scissors from the rubble defends his actions to the guard.
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    A man who has retrieved a pair of scissors from the rubble defends his actions to the guard.
  • A Haitian man removes a bundle of goods from a collapsed store near Port-au-Prince.
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    A Haitian man removes a bundle of goods from a collapsed store near Port-au-Prince.
  • Haitian men distribute water and soda they took from a market in shambles.
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    Haitian men distribute water and soda they took from a market in shambles.
  • Haitians gather outside a store to buy rice and wheat in downtown Port-au-Prince. Food is scarce and prices have skyrocketed since Tuesday.
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    Haitians gather outside a store to buy rice and wheat in downtown Port-au-Prince. Food is scarce and prices have skyrocketed since Tuesday.

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Gilkey had some other disturbing finds today; a fire at one of the few standing restaurants in Port-au-Prince, a violent death in the streets. Meanwhile, a bedridden man sheds tears of fear, worried and confused, now that his loved ones have disappeared. (All this in the gallery below.)

  • Firefighters yell for help as they try to put out a fire at the Pasta Mamma noodle factory in Port-au-Prince on Monday.
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    Firefighters yell for help as they try to put out a fire at the Pasta Mamma noodle factory in Port-au-Prince on Monday.
    All photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • People scramble to pick up spilled spaghetti at the burning restaurant. With food supplies already low, the fire is yet another blow to a desperate capital.
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    People scramble to pick up spilled spaghetti at the burning restaurant. With food supplies already low, the fire is yet another blow to a desperate capital.
  • A man grips a knife as he looks for other looters to come out of a shop near downtown Port-au-Prince on Sunday.
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    A man grips a knife as he looks for other looters to come out of a shop near downtown Port-au-Prince on Sunday.
  • A man carries a shotgun as he walks through a collapsed burning building while trying to keep looters at bay on the streets outside in the commercial district of downtown Port-au-Prince.
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    A man carries a shotgun as he walks through a collapsed burning building while trying to keep looters at bay on the streets outside in the commercial district of downtown Port-au-Prince.
  • A body, with tied limbs and apparent gunshot wounds to the head, lies in the street Monday.
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    A body, with tied limbs and apparent gunshot wounds to the head, lies in the street Monday.
  • Robenson Bernard cries at a hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince on Monday. Bedridden since November, none of the family members who used to take care of him have come since the quake.
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    Robenson Bernard cries at a hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince on Monday. Bedridden since November, none of the family members who used to take care of him have come since the quake.
  • A Haitian girl, whose nose and cheek were shattered in the quake, holds her head at the main hospital in downtown in Port-au-Prince.
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    A Haitian girl, whose nose and cheek were shattered in the quake, holds her head at the main hospital in downtown in Port-au-Prince.
  • A U.S. Navy helicopter flies over Port-au-Prince on Monday.
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    A U.S. Navy helicopter flies over Port-au-Prince on Monday.
  • Soldiers with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division prepare to board helicopters to create operating bases across Port-au-Prince on Monday.
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    Soldiers with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division prepare to board helicopters to create operating bases across Port-au-Prince on Monday.
  • United Nations soldiers hand out water in front of the National Palace on Sunday.
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    United Nations soldiers hand out water in front of the National Palace on Sunday.
  • Across Port-au-Prince, people attend Sunday services in the rubble of churches.
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    Across Port-au-Prince, people attend Sunday services in the rubble of churches.
  • A man walks past Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in downtown Port-au-Prince.
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    A man walks past Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in downtown Port-au-Prince.
  • A Haitian woman receives her first ration of foreign aid in a soccer stadium in Port-au-Prince on Saturday.
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    A Haitian woman receives her first ration of foreign aid in a soccer stadium in Port-au-Prince on Saturday.
  • Haitians line up for U.N. food rations. Desperately needed aid is finally arriving in Port-au-Prince, but congestion at the airport is hampering efforts to get supplies to survivors.
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    Haitians line up for U.N. food rations. Desperately needed aid is finally arriving in Port-au-Prince, but congestion at the airport is hampering efforts to get supplies to survivors.
  • Women stand in line for food rations being handed out by the United Nations Friday in Port-au-Prince.
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    Women stand in line for food rations being handed out by the United Nations Friday in Port-au-Prince.
  • A Haitian man tries to keep a crowd from rushing a U.S. Navy helicopter as it unloads water in a Port-au-Prince park.
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    A Haitian man tries to keep a crowd from rushing a U.S. Navy helicopter as it unloads water in a Port-au-Prince park.
  • As survivors await international aid Sunday, Haitian men pass out water and soda taken from a collapsed store near Port-au-Prince.
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    As survivors await international aid Sunday, Haitian men pass out water and soda taken from a collapsed store near Port-au-Prince.
  • A boy uses a jug of water to wash off in a city park near the national palace.
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    A boy uses a jug of water to wash off in a city park near the national palace.
  • Across Port-au-Prince Haitians are scrambling to salvage what they can. A woman carries a bag of clothing recovered from her apartment.
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    Across Port-au-Prince Haitians are scrambling to salvage what they can. A woman carries a bag of clothing recovered from her apartment.
  • Refugees wait in a makeshift camp Saturday near downtown Port-au-Prince.
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    Refugees wait in a makeshift camp Saturday near downtown Port-au-Prince.
  • People gather around broken water pipes to collect fresh drinking water Friday in Port-au-Prince.
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    People gather around broken water pipes to collect fresh drinking water Friday in Port-au-Prince.
  • The streets are filled with people carrying their few remaining belongings.
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    The streets are filled with people carrying their few remaining belongings.
  • The search for people in the rubble continues. A Haitian rescue worker helps the L.A. County Search and Rescue team in in downtown Port-au-Prince.
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    The search for people in the rubble continues. A Haitian rescue worker helps the L.A. County Search and Rescue team in in downtown Port-au-Prince.
  • Haitians watch the L.A. rescue team's efforts at a collapsed building. Officials estimate at least 50,000 people were killed by the quake.
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    Haitians watch the L.A. rescue team's efforts at a collapsed building. Officials estimate at least 50,000 people were killed by the quake.
  • A boy tries to get a drink as looters scavenge the rubble of a supermarket Saturday in Port-au-Prince.
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    A boy tries to get a drink as looters scavenge the rubble of a supermarket Saturday in Port-au-Prince.
  • First Lt. Greg Bitner watches over Haitian men who have gathered at the airport in hopes of getting work.
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    First Lt. Greg Bitner watches over Haitian men who have gathered at the airport in hopes of getting work.
  • Haitians leave Port-au-Prince on a flatbed truck. Other towns in Haiti were also hit hard, but not much aid has made it beyond the devastated capital.
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    Haitians leave Port-au-Prince on a flatbed truck. Other towns in Haiti were also hit hard, but not much aid has made it beyond the devastated capital.
  • A man stands on a rooftop yelling out for any sign of his missing relatives Friday in a devastated hillside neighborhood near downtown Port-au-Prince.
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    A man stands on a rooftop yelling out for any sign of his missing relatives Friday in a devastated hillside neighborhood near downtown Port-au-Prince.

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Sadly, there are many rescue workers yearning to help who simply cannot reach those in need. NPR photographer John Poole spent the last five days with one such group. Getting to the field has been one obstacle after another.

After finally catching a flight to Port-au-Prince following three days stuck on the island of Provinciales, the Georgia 3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team is now stuck — yet again — at the U.S. Embassy. Without proper security, they can't go into the field. Last we heard from Poole, they were camped out on embassy grounds, anxiously waiting the OK to start helping those in need.

  • The Georgia 3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team had been trying to get to Haiti since Thursday, but their plane was diverted to an island 90 miles to the north. On Sunday, they boarded a C-130 transport plane to Port-au-Prince.
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    The Georgia 3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team had been trying to get to Haiti since Thursday, but their plane was diverted to an island 90 miles to the north. On Sunday, they boarded a C-130 transport plane to Port-au-Prince.
    All photos by John Poole/NPR
  • The team arrives at the Port-au-Prince Toussaint L'Ouverture Airport on Sunday after spending three days on the island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos.
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    The team arrives at the Port-au-Prince Toussaint L'Ouverture Airport on Sunday after spending three days on the island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos.
  • Lou Raeder, the logistics specialist for the Georgia team, helps direct personnel Sunday on the grounds of the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
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    Lou Raeder, the logistics specialist for the Georgia team, helps direct personnel Sunday on the grounds of the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
  • Disaster assistance teams from Georgia, California and Massachusetts hold a kite-making contest Sunday to pass the time and keep up morale. Days after leaving for Haiti, they still have not been able to get into the field to treat patients.
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    Disaster assistance teams from Georgia, California and Massachusetts hold a kite-making contest Sunday to pass the time and keep up morale. Days after leaving for Haiti, they still have not been able to get into the field to treat patients.
  • The team eats ready-to-eat meals, or MREs, for dinner on Sunday night. They are eating and sleeping in the open on the embassy grounds.
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    The team eats ready-to-eat meals, or MREs, for dinner on Sunday night. They are eating and sleeping in the open on the embassy grounds.
  • The team settles in for the evening outside the embassy. They hope to get into the field soon, but still don't have the military protection they are told they need.
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    The team settles in for the evening outside the embassy. They hope to get into the field soon, but still don't have the military protection they are told they need.
  • Melinda Pethel, a medical technician with the Georgia disaster assistance team, carries a baby into the American Embassy in Port-a-Prince on Monday. The baby arrived with a group from a Haitian orphanage.
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    Melinda Pethel, a medical technician with the Georgia disaster assistance team, carries a baby into the American Embassy in Port-a-Prince on Monday. The baby arrived with a group from a Haitian orphanage.

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Hopefully, tomorrow will bring better news for the people of Haiti. Check the Picture Show for new NPR photos throughout the day.

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