International

In Haiti: Devastation Is 'Mind-Blowing'

Haitians scatter as police fire shots in the street to try and disperse crowds from looting in the c i i

People scattered Monday in Port-au-Prince when policed fired shots to disperse looters. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR
Haitians scatter as police fire shots in the street to try and disperse crowds from looting in the c

People scattered Monday in Port-au-Prince when policed fired shots to disperse looters.

David Gilkey/NPR

As Day Six since the devastating earthquake in Haiti draws to a close, here are some of the latest developments and some observations from NPR reporters who are on the scene:

— "Plans were forged Monday for a food distribution system and 'humanitarian corridors' to ease the flow of aid to starving Haitians. ... Meanwhile, more U.S. Marines began to arrive, poised to help move aid and maintain order." (NPR.org.)

— " U.S. troops protected aid handouts and the United Nations sought extra peacekeepers in earthquake-shattered Haiti on Monday as marauding looters emptied wrecked shops and desperate survivors began to receive medical care and air-dropped food." (Reuters.)

— "Doctors, troops, food, water, fuel, medicine and other humanitarian supplies continued to flow into Haiti Monday, reaching more earthquake survivors, and perhaps dissuading migrants from taking to the Florida Straits and heading to the United States. Navy Rear Adm. Michael Rogers, director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a telephone conference call from the island that violence was not impeding search and rescue, or humanitarian efforts to distribute food, water and medical supplies." (Miami Herald.)

— "The closer you get to Leogane, the greater the devastation. The city of 160,000 is very near the epicenter of Haiti's earthquake. Driving into the city, it seems every house — every building — is either collapsed or is teetering at a dangerous angle. The survivors stand in groups and gaze at the destruction. The parks in Leogane are starting to fill with makeshift tents." (NPR's Jackie Northam on All Things Considered.)

— "More than 2,000 U.S. Marines are set to join 1,000 US troops on the ground in Haiti, as aid efforts gather pace a week after a devastating earthquake. Their arrival comes amid violence and looting, and as U.N. and U.S. forces pushed back a crowd at Port-au-Prince's airport gate by firing baton rounds." (BBC News.)

— "Americans haven't just taken over Haitian air traffic control, they're also running security at the airport. A mob of people, many waving American passports, were trying desperately to get into the airport to catch a flight out of the battered Haitian capital. Out on the tarmac, pallets of relief supplies are being loaded off of a massive Russian cargo plane. At the Western edge of the airport, soldiers from the 82nd Airborne are loading boxes of food and water into Navy helicopters." (NPR's Jason Beaubien.)

— "The sheer magnitude of this tragedy — especially in terms of the number of people who have died — make it the most affecting story I've ever been involved in covering. Sept. 11 and [Hurricane] Katrina were very difficult because it's hard not to become emotional at some of the scenes you see and make part of your stories. But here, there are so many deaths." (NPR's Greg Allen.)

— "I've covered some big disasters before — the Asian tsunami, Darfur, the Liberian civil war — and this one is still mind-blowing. The extent of the devastation is really hard to convey." (NPR's Jason Beaubien.)

— "It's heart-breaking." (NPR's Jackie Northam.)

For more of NPR's coverage of the crisis in Haiti, click here.

If you're looking for information on charities doing work in Haiti, click here.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.