U.N. Spokesman: Destruction In Haiti 'Overwhelming' Robert Siegel talks to David Wimhurst, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti. Wimhurst tells NPR that the destruction in Haiti is "extremely overwhelming."

U.N. Spokesman: Destruction In Haiti 'Overwhelming'

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Earlier, I spoke with David Wimhurst. He is the chief of public information for the UN mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH.

Mr. DAVID WIMHURST (Director, Public Information, MINUSTAH): It's a hot sunny day in Haiti. And if you look at the sky, you wouldn't think there is anything wrong. But if you look around you, you realize you're in a disaster zone. There are bodies on the road, there are destroyed buildings. There are crashed cars. I mean, and if you go out into the city, the situation just gets worse and worse. I mean, the destruction is really extremely overwhelming. And the electricity supplies are out, water is in short supply. Some of the roads have cracked up. There are smashed cars on the roads. There are boulders and rocks, fallen trees. It's a mess all over.

SIEGEL: Is there some sense of where the worst loss of life or the worst loss of property would likely be? What the center of the devastation�

Mr. WIMHURST: No, it's too early. We haven't been able to really - you know, we are still saving ourselves in a way�

SIEGEL: Mm-hmm.

Mr. WIMHURST: �in planning, you know, immediate steps to get in relief and search and rescue teams and start that first ball rolling.

SIEGEL: Now is there anybody around there who seems to be taking charge of the situation in the city or trying to maintain order at this moment?

Mr. WIMHURST: We are, certainly.

SIEGEL: Mm-hmm.

Mr. WIMHURST: MINUSTAH still has 7,000 soldiers and 2,000 police in this country. And they're all actively engaged, certainly in this area, Port-au-Prince and Jacmel, which have been the worst hit. So, we are very much out there on the road, on the streets helping, maintaining law and order. And we are also actively engaged in coordinating the arrival of relief supplies and humanitarian assistance. So, we are very much engaged in trying to coordinate efforts to bring immediate relief to the Haitian people and to help out also in our own - the excavation of our own collapsed headquarters.

SIEGEL: Well, David Wimhurst, thank you very much for giving us that update.

Mr. WIMHURST: Thank you.

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