Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Haiti Update Friday night (posted Saturday afternoon)

Expand Messages
  • Ned Sublette
    Listening to Boukman Eksperyans, Kalfou Danjere. The earthquake happened on Erzulie Dantor s day. Its epicenter was six miles west of Carrefour, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2010
      Listening to Boukman Eksperyans, "Kalfou Danjere."

      The earthquake happened on Erzulie Dantor's day. Its epicenter was six miles
      west of Carrefour, the Crossroads.

      I don't have a TV. Watching disaster porn on TV is my definition of
      powerless. I've been mostly engaging via text, still photo, and widgets. But
      tonight, over at a friend's, I saw the TV coverage for the first time. It
      was, I must admit, riveting. The images of bodies being pushed into mass
      graves as we are told that then dirt will be pushed on top of them, then
      more bodies, then more dirt, then more bodies. I was in Sri Lanka for the
      tsunami, said the reporter. But there they had at least a system for
      identifying the bodies, photographing the corpses before they covered them

      Not in Haiti. Just push 'em into a grave, unidentified, and let their
      families wonder.

      This is neocolonial terrorism imploded.

      On a TV clip I heard for the first time a frustratingly small bite of the
      sound I've been reading about since literally the first tweet: the people
      singing in the street.

      A street full of people marching and singing. They've been doing that since
      Tuesday night. The anchors, of course, haven't got a clue. CNN's wraparound
      carefully identified them as "Catholic." Yeah, right. There must be more
      footage of this. It could not seem more significant right now:

      Music was the first responder.

      Music. This is at the center of why music matters. If you can find footage
      of it, let me know. This is the music I want to hear.

      * * *
      On the cover of my book "The World That Made New Orleans," in an oval, is a
      picture of a woman holding a candle.

      I took that picture at a vodou ceremony in New Jersey. I figured, if you had
      had a camera and film and processing chemicals in 1809 in New Orleans, you
      could have taken this picture.

      Let me tell you about that woman who for a fraction of a second of her life
      became an image in my camera. She lives in New York. During fifteen years of
      struggle in the city she's been building a house in Port-au-Prince with
      every nickel she could save. She hadn't finished it yet. But it's finished
      now. It's gone. It's dust. Her fifteen years of sacrifice is gone. I tell
      this story not because it's about her, and guaranteed she doesn't want your
      pity, but to point up that this is how much the Haitian community in this
      country has invested. This community, whose existence here is often so
      precarious on a day-to-day working-at-Wendy's basis, has suffered in many
      cases the loss not only of family members, but of years of work and
      investment in their home country. Now they are being called on to do
      extraordinary service.

      The historic town of Jacmel was perhaps worse hit than P-au-P. Even solidly
      built houses collapsed, including old ones. It seems obscene to think about
      anything but the physical human suffering right now, but if we look at what
      is lost besides human life in Jacmel, we realize: an architectural legacy.
      Historic houses crumbled. Saint-Domingue was the home of shotgun houses, no?
      I'd like to find someone who knows the architecture of Jacmel better than I
      to comment on what has been lost.

      * * *
      The racist lies take more or less outrageous forms. Forget Pat Robertson,
      who doesn't deserve the free publicity, except to note that he does speak
      for a sizable group of Americans: the Stupid Racist Motherfuckers. Of whom
      there are majorities in several states. Be assured that they're wailing
      against witchcraft right now, on radio stations you and I don't listen to,
      broadcasting all across small-town and rural America. But then we have the
      only slightly less racist lies of the major media -- maybe not so much the
      on-the-ground reporters, as the guys in the edit room who frame it like, in
      the infamous words of the New York Times on Wednesday, Haiti's problems are
      caused in part by its "dire poverty, political infighting and proclivity for
      insurrection." Slavery, a brutal colonialism, debt peonage, pariah status
      and embargo, the treachery of its own tiny elite, foreign invasion, and
      foreign-sponsored coups against its elected president had nothing to do with

      However, the single most offensive article I have seen so far has been
      committed by the New York Times's pink-shirt-and-purple-tie megadweeb
      neocon David Brooks. Against my better judgment to ignore this kind
      of garbage, I will append it at the bottom of this digest, but warning: have
      a vomit bucket handy.

      I think we need a national teach-in on Haitian history.

      * * *
      Jean-Bertrand Aristide is in South Africa, still not allowed the right of
      return. As far as I can tell, the UN "peacekeeping" force are in part there
      to keep Artistide from being able to return to the presidency to which he
      was twice overwhelmingly elected and from which he was twice deposed with
      United States support. UN troops made open war on Cit� Soleil, a base of
      Aristide's support which is, yes, also full of drug dealers because it is a
      desperately poor neighborhood that does not offer employment to its youth.
      Aristide, whose base of urban poor has been and is being devastated as I
      type, can't come back now without his very presence shining a light on this
      fundamental problem: Haiti has had little help from other states, but a
      great deal of interference.

      The UN has maintained its costly presence there on a purely policial mission
      without investing in Haiti's infrastructure. The UN didn't build a network
      of roads, set up a functional health care or educational system, get running
      water into poor people's houses, or offer jobs. They sent seven thousand
      soldiers and two thousand police, to make sure the people in the hood didn't
      cause too much trouble while a powerless government presided in name over a
      state the essential functions of which had been privatized to foreigners (in
      acronymspeak: NGO's.) Meanwhile, many of the doctors in Haiti in recent
      years have come from Cuba, and Cuba, which sent in 30 doctors immediately,
      already has a functioning medical infrastructure in place in Haiti. In this
      disaster right now, the Cubans are performing with valor, as they always do,
      but don't expect to read about that in US newspapers.

      * * *
      Now comes what Naomi Klein calls disaster capitalism. Perhaps the greatest
      challenge will be to monitor what is sure to become a giant honeypot for
      contractors. Haitians' houses are going to have to be rebuilt. Maybe this
      time they could connect them to running water? How about building a real
      electrical grid and internet backbone?

      The #1 demand, based on the lesson of New Orleans: Haiti must be rebuilt,
      and connected to a real infrastructural grid, by decently compensated
      Haitian labor with financial help from outside. Haitians want to rebuild
      their country, and we should give them everything they need. Haiti must not
      go through a pantomime of rebuilding in a corporate invasion by politically
      connected looters using imported labor.

      Fat chance. President Obama has brought back George W. Bush from his gig
      in Reno with the Safari Club International Annual Hunter�s Convention to
      "come together" with Bill Clinton "to lead the nation�s humanitarian and
      relief efforts to Haiti."

      If anyone should be disqualified from handling sharp objects in the presence
      of this disaster, it is the man who watched New Orleans drown and kidnapped
      Haiti's elected president. Together with Bill Clinton, the two form a team
      that, based on past performance, represents the consolidation of the
      Sweatshop Agenda for Haiti's future.

      * * *
      I've been getting queries about whom to donate to. Partners in Health keeps
      coming to the top of everyone's list. Here's a letter from them:

      Dear All,

      Over the past 18 hours, Partners In Health staff in Boston and Haiti have
      been working to collect as much information as possible about the conditions
      on the ground, the relief efforts taking shape, and all relevant logistics
      issues in order to respond efficiently and effectively to the most urgent
      needs in the field. At the moment, PIH's Chief Medical Officer is on her way
      to Haiti, where she will meet with Zanmi Lasante leadership and head
      physicians, who are already working to ensure PIH's coordinated relief
      efforts leveraging the skills of more than 120 doctors and nearly 500 nurses
      and nursing assistants who work at Zanmi Lasante's sites.

      We have already begun to implement a two-part strategy to address the
      immediate need for emergency medical care in Port-au-Prince. First, we are
      organizing the logistics to get the medical staff and supplies needed for
      setting up field hospital sites in Port-au-Prince where we can triage
      patients, provide emergency care, and send those who need surgery or more
      complex treatment to our functioning hospitals and surgical facilities.
      To do this, we are creating a supply chain through the Dominican Republic.
      Second, we are ensuring that our facilities in the Central Plateau are ready
      to serve the flow of patients from Port-au-Prince. Operating and procedure
      rooms are staffed, supplied, and equipped for surgeries and we have
      converted a church in Cange into a large triage area. Already our sites in
      Cange and Hinche are reporting a steady flow of people coming with medical
      needs from the capital city. In the days that come we will need to make sure
      our pharmacies and supplies stay stocked and our staff continue to be able
      to respond.

      Currently, our greatest need is financial support. Haiti is facing a crisis
      worse than it has seen in years, and it is a country that has faced years of
      crisis, both natural disaster and otherwise. The country is in need of
      millions of dollars right now to meet the needs of the communities hardest
      hit by the earthquake. Our facilities are strategically placed just two
      hours outside of Port-au-Prince and will inevitably absorb the flow of
      patients out of the city. In addition, we need cash on-hand to quickly
      procure emergency medical supplies, basic living necessities, as well as
      transportation and logistics support for the tens of thousands of people
      that will be seeking care at mobile field hospitals in the capital city. Any
      and all support that will help us respond to the immediate needs and
      continue our mission of strengthening the public health system in Haiti is
      greatly appreciated. Help us stand up for Haiti now.


      If you are not in a position to make a financial contribution, you can help
      us raise awareness of the earthquake tragedy. Please alert your friends to
      the situation and direct them to www.pih.org for updates and ways to help.

      Share this important update with your friends.

      Thank you for your solidarity during this crisis,

      Ophelia Dahl
      Executive Director

      * * *
      The indispensible CounterPunch has assembled their longtime contributor
      Richard Morse's tweets into a gigantic poem of sorts. I think Richard Morse
      should receive the Nobel Prize in Tweeterature.


      meanwhile, here are some of his more recent tweets, as of 12:50 a.m. EST
      Saturday morning:


      a.. when the sky is filled with planes and copters,it reminds me of the 2
      invasions we had.it's different now.such suffering.ppl buried alive.. about
      3 hours ago from web
      a.. Is this a one week story?Is this a 10 day story? is this a one month
      story?Where r 2 million ppl going to go? Nothing for them in PauP? about 3
      hours ago from web
      a.. Back to the Earthquake...people are without money or a way to make
      money..no homes,no jobs,no school,no government,no churches,.now what???
      about 3 hours ago from web
      a.. No one voted in last years Haitian election..NO ONE!!..then they had a
      runoff and made up voting tallies..maybe we should turn a new page... about
      3 hours ago from web
      a.. I curious to see whether Washington is going to reconsider pre
      Earthquake allies about 3 hours ago from web
      a.. I need a more powerful generator..I need a more powerful internet
      service..trying to provide service for many many journalists about 3 hours
      ago from web
      a.. Talked to a man who was here to release political prisoners.His job has
      been attended to.That's how a spiritual person might see it. about 3 hours
      ago from web
      a.. Cite Soleil:Subway 17/19 Sous Wharf area is said to have survived. Some
      one from the Cite Soleil came to see me.TiHaiti/Cite Limye hit hard about 3
      hours ago from web
      a.. I spoke to my receptionist.She has yet to come to work.She said she
      couldn't get to PauP because 2 many bodies and 2 much stress. about 3 hours
      ago from web
      a.. Right now we have to work together to get through this mess..but what do
      we do tomorrow? Where do we take it.Where do we take the country? about 3
      hours ago from web
      a.. Will Haiti start anew? That's the question of the day? What's the
      direction? Same direction as last year?No one seemed to like that path about
      3 hours ago from web
      a.. had a 2 chat with a priest today.St Gerard.Down.Sacred
      Heart.Down.Cathedral.Down.St Anne.Down.I askedHow bout your church? he said
      we're ok. about 3 hours ago from web
      a.. Taxation Building?Down.UNHeadquarters?Down.I don't want to start getting
      philosophical but Haitians don't buy the "coincidence" angle about 4 hours
      ago from web
      a.. People are trying to justify why so many government buildings were
      downed.Justice?Palace?Down.Parliament?Down.Justice Building?Down. about 4
      hours ago from web
      a.. People don't talk about the bodies,they talk about the decomposing
      bodies.Mass graves?Should we get philosophical? People r talking Justice
      about 4 hours ago from web
      a.. One of my staff came to work crying. Shots near the old airport on
      Delmas.Different Cite Soleil areas hard hit:TiHaiti/2emCite/Cite Limye about
      4 hours ago from web
      a.. Been trying to get the internet back on line.Lines of journalists.still
      feel occasional tremor.One of my kitchen staff is'nt accounted for. about 4
      hours ago from web
      a.. One firetruck is doing water distribution on ChampMars.Bodies are being
      burned.Dominicans are making a presence about 15 hours ago from web
      a.. There was a tremor this morning around 4AM..it didn't wake me up but
      some folks who had been inside came to join us sleeping in the driveway
      about 15 hours ago from web
      a.. The school behind St Gerard still has people buried as does
      everywhere.The dead bodies are becoming a greater and greater concern about
      15 hours ago from web
      a.. what to do, what to do, what to do with all these bodies that are
      starting to decompose.people are starting to wear masks about 15 hours ago
      from web
      a.. My batteries died late last night.Found a technician,Lunise found a
      generator.we're charging as I write about 15 hours ago from web

      * * *

      UPDATE 1-US takes control of Haiti airport to speed aid
      Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:45pm EST

      * Haiti signs memorandum with U.S. govt

      Stocks | Global Markets

      * Teams in place to prioritize relief, flights

      * U.S. says no fuel at airport, some flights diverted

      (updates with handover agreement, details on airport plan)

      By Andrew Quinn and John Crawley

      WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Haiti gave the United States control of its
      main airport on Friday to bring order in the skies to aid flights from
      around the world and speed relief to the quake-traumatized Caribbean nation,
      the Obama administration said.

      U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that Haitian
      Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive signed a memorandum of understanding
      formally transferring operations at Toussaint L'Ouverture International
      Airport in Port-au-Prince.

      "Obviously we will assume this responsibility as long as it's appropriate
      and to the point where the Haitian government is able and ready to resume
      that capability," Crowley said.

      U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was due to visit Haiti on Saturday.

      The modest airport became a bottleneck almost immediately after Tuesday's
      devastation as the world rushed help to the impoverished nation. Regional
      authorities believe as many as 200,000 people were killed in the quake.

      Waves of military and civilian planes loaded with food and water, medicine,
      and rescue crews poured into the small Haitian air space but many flights
      circled for hours before landing or were diverted.

      While a 9,000-foot runway can handle the biggest jetliners arriving "heavy"
      with cargo and the tarmac escaped serious damage, the Port-au-Prince airport
      was compromised by a severely damaged control tower and limited facilities
      for dealing with the relief effort.

      The U.S. Air Force landed on Wednesday and immediately worked with Haitian
      authorities and a team from the Federal Aviation Administration to restore
      navigation and communications capabilities. They also sorted planes on the
      ground and began to organize arrivals.

      But Haitian air space remained off limits through Friday to many flights
      approaching from overseas with little notice. Some planes bound for Haiti
      were diverted to the Dominican Republic and airports in Florida, the FAA

      Aviation authorities were concerned that long approach delays could
      jeopardize onboard fuel supplies. Further complicating matters, the
      Port-au-Prince airport ran out of fuel, meaning any planes that landed would
      not be able to refuel for departure.

      U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States, and countries including
      Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Colombia, Russia, Japan, and Britain managed
      to fly in rescue and logistics personnel and supplies. While some aid was
      getting in, the White House hoped improved logistics would streamline and
      accelerate the effort.

      On Friday night, a ban was lifted on most flights heading for saturated
      Haitian air space. It was replaced by a two-tier approach for managing
      traffic that was worked out by international aviation authorities and
      Caribbean states.

      Working with Haitian authorities, a team of U.S. military and civilian
      aviation experts began prioritizing arriving flights based on what was
      needed most on the ground.

      A second team based at a U.S. military facility in Florida lined up airborne
      flights for arrival. Pilots are required to file a flight plan before
      departure and obtain a landing time. The window is open for 40 minutes - 20
      minutes before scheduled arrival and 20 minutes after, an FAA advisory said.

      Commercial flights have been banned since Tuesday. U.S. carriers serving
      Haiti include American Airlines and Spirit Airlines. American had been
      scheduled to fly in relief supplies.

      (Reporting by Andrew Quinn and John Crawley; Editing by Peter Cooney and
      Bill Trott)

      * * *

      Haitians struggle to find the dead and keep survivors alive after

      By Manuel Roig-Franzia, Mary Beth Sheridan and Michael E. Ruane
      Washington Post Staff Writers
      Friday, January 15, 2010; A01

      PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI -- Desperate Haitians clawed at the rubble of their
      ruined capital for a second day Thursday, retrieving their dead and rescuing
      the living, as an international armada of ships and aircraft struggled to
      provide food, water, medicine and shelter.

      Forty-eight hours after much of the impoverished Caribbean nation was
      devastated by an earthquake, it was mainly the people of this shattered
      city, working with bare hands and simple tools, who pulled at slabs of
      concrete and blocks of debris to get at those still trapped.

      The dead and injured were pushed through the streets in wheelbarrows. At the
      overwhelmed central hospital, anguished patients lay in a weedy parking lot
      on gurneys fashioned from wooden doors. Calls for help went unanswered, and
      no doctors were in sight.

      Even as a 90,000-ton American nuclear aircraft carrier was expected Friday,
      and transport planes arrived from as far away as China and Belgium, the
      first shipments of aid were just starting to reach the stunned nation.

      There were scant signs of help from the Haitian government, itself scattered
      by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake Tuesday evening. The streets were filled
      with beleaguered residents milling about, left with no jobs, no instructions
      on what to do, and no place to buy food or to take the injured. Many said
      they felt totally alone and saw no evidence that relief was on the way, as
      their mournful pleas began to give way to anger.

      "The government is mute," a dismayed young Haitian said while he hurried
      past a body left on a traffic median. "They do nothing."

      Further hampering relief efforts, the Federal Aviation Administration
      temporarily stopped all private and humanitarian flights from the United
      States to Haiti's clogged airports for slightly more than five hours on
      Thursday, allowing only military planes, at the request of the Haitian
      government, a U.S. official said. Nine planes from the United States were
      already in the air when FAA issued the order, the official said. They could
      not land in Haiti.

      Despite the arrival of some aid and rescue teams on Thursday, Port-au-Prince
      remained a haunted place of destruction, with many of its pastel buildings
      collapsed into death traps.

      A Haitian Red Cross official said the quake may have killed as many as
      50,000 people.

      Across the sprawling city, makeshift citizen rescue crews squirmed through
      openings in the debris and past bodies to search for survivors. The living
      cried with joy when they were extricated. The dead were stacked on streets
      and sidewalks, some victims covered with blankets or cardboard, or bound in
      winding sheets.

      Many of the deceased remained in the rubble, with an arm protruding here, a
      leg there.

      In a collapsed school, the body of a student was slumped over what appeared
      to be a desk -- her dark-blue jumper and pink blouse covered in white dust.

      Jeanne Baptiste, who lost her husband and three of her five children in the
      quake, lay beneath a bed cloth strung between tree branches. Her sister
      mopped at a ragged wound on her stomach and tried to comfort the two
      surviving children.

      "Somebody has to help us," Baptiste said weakly.

      Among the dead, the State Department announced, was Victoria J. DeLong, a
      cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. DeLong, who
      had been in Haiti less than a year, was killed when her home collapsed.

      There were some victories amid the destruction.

      An urban search-and-rescue team from Fairfax County pulled an Estonian
      security guard from the collapsed U.N. headquarters building.

      The guard, identified as Tarmo Joveer, was discovered after rescuers heard
      scratching. Television footage showed him emerging from the rubble, pumping
      a fist in the air as rescuers dusted him off.

      U.N. officials called it a miracle, noting that 36 other U.N. workers had
      been found dead, and that nearly 200 others -- including mission chief H�di
      Annabi and his chief deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa -- were still missing.

      "The entire building was shaking violently," David Wimhurst, a U.N.
      spokesman who was in the headquarters at the time, said Thursday. "I was
      hanging on to furniture just to stop myself being thrown around the world,
      and praying that the big concrete pillar in the middle of my office would
      not break and bring the whole building down on me. When it subsided, the
      [building] . . . had collapsed."

      He said he escaped out a window and down a rickety ladder.

      U.S. vows aid

      At the White House, President Obama pledged $100 million in aid to Haiti, to
      support what he called one of the largest international relief efforts in

      Obama, flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense
      Secretary Robert M. Gates and Vice President Biden, said the rescue of
      Haiti's people, as well as the nation's long-term recovery, is a top U.S.

      The U.S. military now has a 24-hour-a-day airlift underway.

      The White House said a large shipment of food will arrive Saturday. Three
      U.S. military helicopters were scheduled to fly in Thursday from the
      neighboring Dominican Republic loaded with water, medical supplies, hardware
      and personnel. They are prepared to return to the Dominican Republic with
      some of the injured.

      U.S. disaster medical assistance teams, along with a disaster mortuary
      assessment team, were set to depart for Haiti from Atlanta on Thursday

      And before the pause in nonmilitary air traffic, the international airport
      was busy with incoming planes, ferrying journalists and relief workers.

      Supplies from a huge U.S. Air Force cargo and personnel plane from Travis
      Air Force Base in California were being unloaded a few hundred feet from an
      enormous Belgian air force plane.

      Despite the traffic, six specialized urban search-and-rescue teams were
      still awaiting permission to fly to Haiti to join four other U.S. teams
      delayed because of the airport congestion, an American official familiar
      with the situation said.

      Adding to the trouble is the need to prioritize the flow of communications
      gear, medical supplies and critical personnel, and the need to coordinate
      flight slots among countries, the official said.

      But authorities said the airlift alone will not be enough to meet the needs
      of the estimated 3 million people affected by the quake.

      Work is underway to set up a temporary port near Port-au-Prince. The main
      commercial pier, wharf and crane that offloads shipping containers collapsed
      and are in the water, Coast Guard officials said.

      "The population of Haiti cannot be sustained without some way of getting
      large quantities of cargo in quickly, and with the port facilities in
      Port-au-Prince, that's going to be very difficult," said Capt. Peter Brown,
      chief of response operations for the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District, based in

      "The only option will be breaking cargo down into much smaller containers
      and bringing them ashore by small boat," he said. "That's going to limit the
      ability to deliver sufficient quantities," especially of food.

      'Help is arriving'

      Steve Matthews of the international aid organization World Vision said Haiti
      needs all the help it can get.

      "It's worse than I thought it would be," he said. "Most countries have some
      capacity to deal with emergencies; this one has no capacity to deal with

      The United States dispatched a company of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
      But the Pentagon said that only 329 U.S. military personnel were on the
      ground Thursday.

      The USS Carl Vinson, the Navy carrier -- loaded with 19 helicopters -- was
      scheduled to arrive Friday. And the hospital ship, USNS Comfort, was
      preparing to get underway.

      Coast Guard cutters have begun to remove people and ferry supplies, and more
      are steaming toward Haiti.

      As of late Thursday, the Coast Guard had flown out more than 100 Americans,
      including injured and nonessential U.S. Embassy personnel. Eighteen other
      people with severe injuries -- major lacerations, fractured skulls and other
      broken bones -- were taken by helicopter.

      "Help is arriving," Obama said in Washington. "Much, much more help is on
      the way."

      But he acknowledged: "None of this will seem quick enough if you have a
      loved one who is trapped, if you're sleeping on the streets, if you can't
      feed your children."

      Ruane reported from Washington.

      * * *


      January 16, 2010
      For the Trapped, Rescue Is but the First Hurdle

      PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti � Herby Amel�s father dug through the collapsed
      college building first, pulling out a body so he could reach his son,
      trapped 20 feet into the pile. But when a rescue team from Miami arrived
      early Friday morning, Herby�s left ankle remained pinned under a fallen

      He was trapped, alive and awake, in a crevice just wider than his shoulders.
      The American rescuers considered amputation, then chose instead to sedate
      Mr. Amel and carefully pull him back through the rubble.

      It was 3:17 a.m., and the dark street was crammed with relatives and
      friends, their hands bright white with concrete dust from digging. Finally,
      �up� came the call. Mr. Amel, 21, emerged, a thin, young man with swollen
      legs. One rescuer wiped away tears.

      It was, by most disaster measures, a successful rescue, though being pried
      from the rubble was only a beginning, by no means assuring survival. Mr.
      Amel�s fate reflects the complications and struggles of the current aid
      effort in Haiti. His drivers were not sure they would find a hospital with
      room for him. With or without the amputation that doctors thought he needed,
      his life was threatened from toxic shock and infection.

      And the search-and-rescue experts from Miami who saved him had spent 10
      frustrating hours on the ground before they could set out to dig for

      The group of 80 had been ready to go on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after
      the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit. But just before their
      scheduled departure, they had to cancel. They were told the airport would
      not let them land.

      They rescheduled for Thursday, and were fortunate enough to find themselves
      on the loud, crowded tarmac here at Toussaint Louverture International
      Airport by 10:30 a.m. after some circling in the air. Transportation to the
      United States Embassy appeared relatively quickly, too, within two hours.

      But bad news followed. A cargo plane with their pneumatic hammers, lights,
      tents and other equipment had been delayed. Later, they found out that it
      had been rerouted to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.

      The group chafed at the holdups. Rudolph Moise, a barrel-chested doctor and
      colonel in the Air Force Reserve, who grew up in Haiti, paced. By 2 p.m.,
      little had changed. Leaders from the three task forces here at the time �
      Fairfax County, Va., Los Angeles County and Miami-Dade County � met in an
      embassy conference room to plan out strategy. Maps were blown up and hung on
      the walls.

      Team leaders complained of equipment they did not have and of delays.

      But at this point, Carlos Gimenez, a hard-charging firefighter from Miami
      with a chin as square as a cigarette box, just wanted to get out. With some
      pushing, he commandeered a handful of vans and S.U.V.�s and drove toward
      downtown at 3:35 p.m. Within minutes, he saw bodies alongside the road.
      Eight on a hilly street of the Nazon area. Two others a few hundred yards
      up, with legs protruding from gray rubble.

      �Man, there are a lot of kids,� said Mr. Gimenez, looking at a small body
      under a sheet.

      Crowds of Haitians streamed by on foot, some with rags over their mouths to
      prevent breathing the stench of decay. Farther into Nazon, a sheared-off
      wall of a home revealed a living room with a painting still on a
      peach-colored wall.

      Only 20 minutes out of the embassy�s gate, Mr. Gimenez had identified three
      areas that they might need to come back and search. The fourth, however,
      looked more urgent. A crowd of young men stood on what looked like a small
      mountain poured like sand from an hourglass: G.O.C. University.

      The team was told of at least four people trapped below. Mr. Gimenez crawled
      down into a hole, where he could hear a young woman�s voice. Two men seemed
      to be hidden underneath an area across the roof.

      The fourth person was being pulled up by Haitians. He emerged around sunset,
      unable to move or speak with anything louder than a whisper. �He�s calling
      for his mother,� said a young man standing beside him.

      Mr. Gimenez grew more intense. �We need to go,� he said. The crowd, he
      feared, would soon become more demanding and more frustrated when they were
      unable to reach the people who were trapped.

      Back at the embassy, he tried to find a way to return. Two hours later, at
      7:30 p.m., he was still without his equipment, and swearing. �It�s
      frustrating,� he said. �Half our gear is in Santo Domingo.�

      After an hour that felt like an eternity, a partial solution emerged. The
      Miami team would borrow equipment from Fairfax County. First, though, they
      needed drivers, and the men who took them out in the afternoon refused. �No
      go, tonight,� one said. He offered no explanation.

      Other drivers were found, and the group was back on the road at 8:50 p.m.
      They headed to pick up equipment at a search site, at the Hotel Montana,
      where Dr. Moise had stayed just a few months earlier. The half-dozen vans
      and S.U.V.�s spent nearly half an hour to climb the road, get what they
      needed and turn around.

      They turned a sharp corner. They had reached the path up to the mound of
      G.O.C. University. A crowd of Haitians headed down, shouting, running with
      what looked like a body. It was the young woman Mr. Gimenez had heard
      speaking five hours earlier. Her leg, red and damp with blood at the knee,
      moved just a touch in the glare of headlights � she was alive.

      The crowd asked the Americans for transportation. Mr. Gimenez told his group
      to stay in their vehicles. He called for Dr. Moise. They tried to calm the
      agitated crowd and explain that search-and-rescue teams were not equipped to
      be ambulances.

      A local police truck that had driven by suddenly began to back up. The young
      woman was placed in the back, and more than 20 people elbowed and squeezed
      to get in the back with her.

      It was time for the Americans to search for others. There were conflicting
      reports about two young men being pulled out by locals. Maybe they were
      saved, or maybe they died, but after sending three search dogs over the pile
      and using high-tech cameras and listening devices, the Americans found no
      signs of life. They could see at least four bodies in the pancaked floors

      Gerald Jeanty Jr., 29, who stood halfway up the path, said he had been

      searching through the rubble for his cousin, a professor at the university
      who answered his phone Thursday morning. His wife had called, and he said he
      was trapped. She called over and over again, but there was never another

      �It�s all collapsed,� Mr. Jeanty said, noting that his cousin worked on the
      first floor of the seven-story building. �And he�s at the bottom.�

      As they gathered again at their vehicles, the Americans seemed disappointed.
      The team from Fairfax had taken back their listening equipment just as they
      were trying to determine whether they heard a faint tap-tap-tap from deep
      within the tangle of rock and steel. The people they imagined saving were

      But when they arrived at the Coll�ge du Canap�-Vert, they knew they could
      help. The candles Mr. Amel�s father had placed in the rubble, like medieval
      torches, guided them to Herby, who was studying to be a teacher.

      They found a second person near the top of the rubble, crammed into a
      staircase where he apparently fled during the tremor. It would take much
      longer to get him out, but they were hopeful. In previous earthquakes, they
      had found survivors up to 14 days later. In this case, though, he died where
      he lay.

      What they tried not to think about was what happened next for those they
      saved. The hospitals were full, and the United States Embassy, with its two
      Air Force doctors, told them not to bring back Haitian patients.

      Mr. Amel and his mother, father and sister drove off into the dark. They
      were all quiet and calm, if only temporarily. The Americans had given him a
      fighting chance, but the ketamine used to sedate as they tugged him out
      would wear off in an hour. Pain, struggle and reality would soon be setting

      * * *


      January 16, 2010
      Patience Wears Thin as Haiti�s Desperation Grows


      PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti � As tension rose here in the battered Haitian
      capital, relief workers scrambled on Friday to deliver desperately needed
      food, water and medical care, recover survivors still trapped in the rubble
      and collect thousands of decaying bodies from the streets.

      An immense relief operation was under way, with cargo planes and military
      helicopters buzzing over the crowded Toussaint Louverture International
      Airport. But three days after the earthquake struck, with many cries for
      help going silent, not nearly enough search and rescue teams or emergency
      supplies could make it here. The United Nations said it had fed 8,000
      people, while two million to three million people remained in dire need.

      Patience was wearing thin, and reports of looting increased, as another day
      went by with no power and limited fresh water.

      �For the moment, this is anarchy,� said Adolphe Reynald, a top aide to the
      mayor of Port-au-Prince, as he supervised a makeshift first aid center that
      was registering long lines of wounded people but had no medicine to treat
      them. �There�s nothing we can do. We�re out here to show that we care, that
      we�re suffering along with them.�

      The United Nations said that 9,000 people had been buried in mass graves �
      and collecting bodies had become one of the few ways to earn money.

      �They pay me $100 a day,� Valencia Joseph, 32, said Friday at 2 a.m., as he
      was called to tug a body free of wires. �We must have picked up 2,000

      He added, �And there�s more.�

      In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would
      visit Haiti on Saturday to show support for the victims of the 7.0-magnitude
      quake. The Obama administration, cautioning that it would take time for all
      the aid to reach those in need, granted Haitians living in the United States
      protection from deportation for 18 months and permission to work.

      Mr. Obama said he had spoken with the Haitian president, Ren� Pr�val, and
      pledged the United States� full commitment in helping rebuild from a quake
      that, according to United Nations estimates, destroyed at least 30 percent
      of the capital and half the buildings in some neighborhoods.

      �As I told the president, we realize that he needs more help and his country
      needs more help � much more,� Mr. Obama said. �And in this difficult hour,
      we will continue to provide it.�

      The United States, in fact, took firmer control of the emergency operation
      on Friday. After three days of chaos and congestion at the airport in
      Port-au-Prince, Haiti�s government ceded control of it to American
      technicians, to speed the flow of relief supplies and personnel.

      The Federal Aviation Administration, which began managing air traffic into
      Haitian airspace, issued a stern warning to allow aid to flow in a more
      orderly way: no planes from the United States, military or civilian, would
      be allowed to land without express permission from the agency.

      Exceptions to the new rule would be granted only to humanitarian aid planes,
      based on arrival times and on the availability of space at the airport, a
      notice from the agency said. The F.A.A. warned pilots that fuel still was
      not available at the airport, and that any aircraft bound here would need to
      have enough fuel to circle in the air for at least an hour.

      Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that 9,000
      to 10,000 American troops were expected in Haiti, on shore and off, by
      Monday, and that the Pentagon was poised to send more.

      Speaking at a Pentagon news conference, Admiral Mullen said that about 5,000
      would be ground troops, who would help with security and logistical support,
      among other duties; the rest would be on ships. He said that an American
      aircraft carrier, the Carl Vinson, arrived off Haiti early Friday with 19
      helicopters aboard, and that it would serve as a staging area for relief
      flights, purified water and other supplies.

      Port-au-Prince, volatile in normal times, remained relatively calm, but the
      United Nations reported that one of its food warehouses in the capital had
      been looted. It called the theft limited and said it had recovered most of
      its provisions.

      Looting of houses and shops increased Friday, and anger boiled over in
      unpredictable ways: residents near the city�s overfilled main cemetery
      stoned a group of ambulance workers seeking to drop off more bodies.

      Some people were bracing for the worst. Harold Marzouka, a Haitian-American
      businessman who was hustling his family onto a private jet to Miami, said he
      could feel the tension rising and feared that hunger and desperation might
      prompt an explosion of violence.

      �If aid doesn�t start pouring in at a significant level, there will be
      serious consequences on the streets,� he said. �People are in the shocked
      and frightened phase. But the next phase will be survival.�

      In New York, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said he
      recognized that the slow pace of the relief effort could make people in
      Port-au-Prince restive.

      �I suspect there will be some frustrations felt by the general population,�
      he said. �We are very much concerned about that kind of possibility and are
      taking all possible precautionary measures.�

      Overnight, rescuers pulled eight survivors from the rubble of the Hotel
      Montana, which served the country�s elite and well-heeled foreign guests,
      and on Friday morning, they pulled out Dan Woolley, an American with a
      Colorado-based Christian charity, who had been trapped in an elevator.
      Another American was found alive in the damaged hotel but the effort to
      extract him extended long into the night.

      Ephraim Lindor, a Haitian colleague of Mr. Woolley who had dropped him off
      at the hotel just before it collapsed, said it was a miracle that he
      survived. �I walked him into the hotel, and two or three seconds later the
      earthquake hit,� he said. �I got out but he didn�t.�

      For rescuers and those buried, every hour that passed was an enemy.

      �The time window is ever shrinking,� said Florian Westphal, a spokesman for
      the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.

      At the State Department, Rajiv Shah, the coordinator for the relief effort
      who is traveling here with Mrs. Clinton, said the United States had not
      given up on finding survivors.

      �There is still an important open window of time today, tonight,� he said,
      adding that survivors could even be found on Saturday.

      Two aftershocks of about 4.5 magnitude rumbled through the island around 4
      a.m. and 8:40 a.m. Friday, according to the United States Geological Survey.
      They spread fresh fear through the capital, where thousands were spending
      the night outside or in temporary shelters, still without electricity or
      reliable phone service.

      Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted from Haiti�s presidency five years
      ago, wept Friday as he told The Associated Press in Johannesburg that he and
      his family wanted to return and �help rebuild the country.�

      There were signs of resilience in the midst of the rubble and grief as many
      Haitians, long accustomed to privation and unreliable government services,
      went on with their lives. Sidewalk markets popped up, offering food to the
      hungry, while hotels that survived the earthquake were still booking rooms
      and taxi drivers were threading through the debris-covered streets.

      At the Dominican border, the small town of Jiman� became a rescue center, a
      way station for Americans being airlifted from Port-au-Prince and a
      destination for convoys carrying the quake�s wounded to a hospital there.

      �They just keep coming,� said Pastor Leocadio Alcantara, who estimated the
      hospital staff had seen 5,000 people in three days.

      Normally, he said, to have 100 patients in that time would be considered a
      busy period.

      As a caravan of missionaries carrying water and other supplies headed across
      the border into Haiti, a man hosing the street shouted, �God help you.�

      Reporting was contributed by Damien Cave and Ruth Fremson from
      Port-au-Prince, Neil MacFarquhar from the United Nations, Helene Cooper from
      Washington, Micheline Maynard from Detroit, Donald G. McNeil Jr., Jack Healy
      and Sharon Otterman from New York and Ginger Thompson from Jiman�, Dominican

      * * *
      Looters roam Port-au-Prince as earthquake death toll estimate climbs

      Hunger and thirst turn to violence in Haiti as planes unable to offload aid
      supplies fast enough

      Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
      guardian.co.uk, Saturday 16 January 2010

      Link to this video

      The death toll from Haiti's earthquake climbed to as high as an estimated
      140,000, as logistical bottlenecks delayed aid and stoked looting by
      survivors desperate for food and water.

      A flotilla of ships anchored offshore while aircraft circled overhead, but
      only a trickle of supplies and emergency teams made it onto the shattered
      streets of Port-au-Prince, where the desperation was turning into violence.

      Groups of men with machetes roved the ruins seeking supplies of food or
      water; others used corpses as roadblocks, a macabre sign that the capital
      had reached breaking point after four days of apocalyptic scenes. "They are
      scavenging everything. What can you do?" Michel Legros, 53, told AP as he
      waited for help to search for seven of relatives buried in his collapsed

      Aramick Louis, secretary of state for public safety, told Reuters the death
      toll had exceeded 140,000. "We have buried 40,000 people. We think there are
      100,000 more on top of that."

      The Pan American Health Organization, the Americas arm of the World Health
      Organization, estimated the deaths from Tuesday's magnitude 7 quake at
      between 50,000 and 100,000, but said that was a "huge guess". Earlier this
      week the Red Cross estimated up to 50,000. A British woman, UN worker Ann
      Barnes, 59, remains missing after the building in which she was collapsed in
      the earthquake.

      The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, estimated that in the worst areas 50%
      of buildings were damaged or destroyed, leaving 3m people without access to
      food, water, shelter and electricity. Ban Ki-moon said he would arrive in
      Haiti "very soon".

      More than 25 rescue teams are now deployed at schools, hotels, hospitals and
      larger buildings, with 13 more on their way, according to the UN. No further
      field hospitals were required, but surgeons and medicines were badly needed.

      Teams dug out dozens of survivors, but any joy was fleeting amid the sight
      and stench of thousands of corpses decomposing under a tropical sun.

      Graves, some with more than a hundred bodies, were dug in rural areas just
      outside the capital, while in the shantytown of Carrefour local authories
      said more than 2,000 corpses were burned. The WHO recommended corpses be
      treated with chemicals and interred in open ditches, giving relatives a
      chance to identify them, rather than mass graves. "The scale of this
      disaster has overwhelmed all capacities," said Paul Garwood, a WHO
      spokesman. "There's an urgent need to get more and more body bags into the
      area so that we can properly handle these bodies."

      In Washington, Barack Obama said that help was on its way: "I want the
      people of Haiti to know we'll do what it takes to save lives and to help
      them get back on their feet," said the US president. "The scale of the
      devastation is extraordinary ... and the losses are heartbreaking."

      His secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was due to arrive in Port-au-Prince
      today for talks with President Ren� Pr�val. Clinton said details of her trip
      were being worked out but that she planned to bring relief supplies as well
      as helping to evacuate some Americans.

      Hospitals and clinics are either destroyed or overwhelmed. Many of the
      wounded streamed into the neighbouring Dominican Republic seeking treatment.
      "There have been more than 500 today; so, so many," anaesthesiologist
      Gilberto Rojas told the New York Daily News. "We have been doing so many
      amputations, seeing so many people with abdominal trauma."

      President Pr�val and the prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, were said to be
      coordinating the government response from the judicial police HQ near the
      airport but on the streets the state was again absent, with virtually no
      sign of police or emergency crews. The 9,000-strong UN peacekeeping force
      seemed stunned by the disaster and its own losses.

      Whether it wanted to or not, the United States was rapidly taking ownership.
      Obama has pledged an initial $100m and enlisted his predecessors, Bill
      Clinton and George W Bush, to help raise more.

      Last night Haiti's government agreed to grant temporary control of the
      airport to the US to speed relief work, thestate department said. A vanguard
      of 300 paratroopers arrived overnight, and 10,000 more troops will be in
      Haiti and offshore by Monday, said Admiral Mike Mullen.

      Helicopters from the carrier USS Carl Vinson ferried supplies ashore but
      off-loading was fraught because the port and airport were damaged and
      congested. The navy said it would serve as a "floating airport". Military
      planners hesitated to drop food and water packages from the air because it
      could lead to rioting.

      "The key is to get the food and the water in there as quickly as possible,
      so people don't in their desperation turn to violence or lead to the
      security situation deteriorating," said the defence secretary, Robert Gates.
      Cuba gave the US permission to fly over its airspace, saving 90 minutes.

      Across Port-au-Prince the refrain was the same. "My neighbours and friends
      are suffering," said Sylvain Angerlotte, 22. "We don't have money. We don't
      have nothing to eat. We need pure water."

      UN peacekeepers protected convoys, while aid workers reported scuffles as
      people scrambled for supplies of water and energy biscuits. "We're sending
      our police into areas where bandits are starting to operate," said Louis,
      the public safety secretary of state. "Some people are robbing, are
      stealing. That is wrong. Our message to everyone is to stay calm."

      Shops have been stripped, but UN food warehouses, contrary to earlier
      reports, were not looted. "The food is there," said a spokeswoman, Emilia
      Casella. They are working on getting a peacekeeper contingent to protect the
      warehouses. Some 6,000 tons of food and other supplies were due to be handed

      The UN said that it was considering converting the national football stadium
      into a field hospital, and setting up collective kitchens for the homeless.

      Jan Egerland, a former UN humanitarian chief, said: "We're in a very classic
      development. Days three, four and five are the most frustrating. Everybody
      knows the whole world is mobilising, and everyone has heard the promises.
      But it takes time to reach the beneficiaries. The infrastructure has either
      gone or is totally clogged up," he told the BBC.From his exile in South
      Africa, Haiti's former president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, said that he and
      his wife were ready to return.

      "We are ready to leave today, tomorrow, at any time, to join the people of
      Haiti. To share their suffering to rebuild the country, moving from poverty
      with dignity," he told reporters, tears streaming down his face.

      * * *

      Haitian Rapper Jimmy O Killed In Earthquake
      Jimmy O worked with Wyclef's Yele Haiti organization.
      By Gil Kaufman

      Hours after the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook the island
      of Haiti, Wyclef Jean put out a plea to anyone with information about the
      whereabouts of Haitian rapper Jimmy O, who is a part of 'Clef's nonprofit
      Yele Haiti foundation.

      "I urge everyone who's listening right now that knows how great this kid is
      in Haiti � I need y'all to verify this information," he said during a CNN
      interview. "It would be a terrible loss for us."

      On Friday (January 15), CNN confirmed that O, 35, who had reportedly
      traveled to the island to work on a mixtape, had died in the quake.
      According to reports, O was crushed while driving around downtown

      CNN was on the scene when O's body was discovered Friday and watched as a
      man examined the body and pulled the artist's passport from his pocket,
      verifying the corpse as that of Jean "Jimmy O" Jimmy Alexandre.

      Agent Robert Dominique was also present at the discovery of the body and
      verified his identity. "His loss will be tremendous in Haiti," Dominique
      said. He said that in addition to helping run the Yele Haiti charity, O also
      developed new talent and artists in Haiti.

      The grief-stricken mother of the musician and his wife and two of his three
      children were present at the scene and were reportedly joined by a crowd
      that was also overcome with emotion over the loss.

      As of Friday morning, Yele Haiti had raised more than $2 million from mobile
      giving, according to Albe Angel, CEO of Miami-based Give on the Go, the
      mobile-communications company working with nonprofit Yele Haiti to
      coordinate donations. In addition to food distribution and emergency relief,
      Yele Haiti has provided thousands of scholarships to children since its
      founding in 2004.

      * * *

      Despair and suffering at the Crossroads in Haiti
      By JONATHAN M. KATZ Associated Press writer
      Posted:01/15/2010 05:08:16 PM PST

      CARREFOUR, Haiti�The sense here is helplessness. There is no one to be
      angry at over an earthquake, no political frustration to vent.

      Misery does not discriminate in Haiti today. Everyone suffered
      equally�those who spent their days in U.N. penthouse offices, those who
      lived in hillside concrete shacks�when the Earth claimed their lives with an
      equally fatal shrug.

      Now, with the police force depleted, hospitals destroyed and the mayor
      rumored to be either wandering town or gone, who can the mostly impoverished
      people turn to for aid?

      Anyone who speaks or sounds foreign, to start with.

      Stevenson Belgrade, a 22-year-old auto mechanic with halting but
      steady English, asked an Associated Press team for water, medicine and latex
      gloves for 40 families huddled in a Jehovah's Witness hall. Someone had come
      by in the morning and thrown two bodies on their front door, he explained.

      He persisted through several explanations that there were no
      provisions, only a few latex gloves to offer, never really giving up even as
      the conversation ended.

      "When can I come back for help?" he asked, his voice falling slightly
      to a whisper. "We are beaten."

      Carrefour was not always like this. Its name means "crossroads," and
      this community on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince has passed plenty in
      Haiti's troubled history.

      The town, so-named because it was here that the roads to a dozen
      rice-planting villages met near the sea, was once a leafy suburb, said
      Michael-Ange Ferdinand, a journalist for the town's "Haiti Development"

      Crossroads are an essential part of life in Haiti, where populations
      are spread over mountainous terrain and nearly everybody walks. In Voodoo,
      the lord of the crossroads is usually the first spirit invoked to make way
      for others, his intersections uniting past and future, the seen and unseen.

      That sense of connectivity, and its location just a few miles down the
      road from the capital, made it a favorite spot for artists and swank social
      clubs in the era of the Duvalier dictatorship.

      But overpopulation and mismanagement polluted its popular Riviere
      Froid, felled its trees for fuel and space, and transformed what was once a
      garden community into a dusty, rundown suburb of concrete shops and low-rise

      Then, in a matter of moments, this week's earthquake created something
      far worse: an overwhelming sense of emptiness, frustration and a lost

      The quake cratered an estimated 100 schools, cracked open hospitals
      and tipped over the mayor's office, claiming the lives of 6,000 of the
      roughly 900,000 who lived in Carrefour, according to estimates by the local
      civil protection department.

      As bodies were thrown into trucks and driven to the outskirts of town
      to be burned Friday, residents painted toothpaste around their noses and
      begged passers-by for surgical masks to cut the smell of the dead.

      "If the government still exists and the United Nations is around, I
      hope they can help us get the bodies out," said Sherine Pierre, a
      21-year-old communications student whose sister died when her house

      Among the destroyed structures was the Institution Catherine Flon, a
      set of three four-story schools serving thousands of students in various

      When the earthquake struck, physics teacher Leslie Lafond was ambling
      with his cane down the stairs after his 3 p.m. class. Suddenly the school's
      middle tower crashed to the ground, taking half the rear tower with it.
      Those here estimate 250 people died inside.

      In the days since, the staff has seen no firefighters, no soldiers, no
      aid. A city worker brought over a police generator light to illuminate the
      rubble, where on Friday the fly-swarmed legs of a student still stuck out.

      A U.S. military helicopter flew by, and the women shouted at it:
      "Here! Here! We need help!"

      Lafond, 52, tearfully recalled his students, all dead now. A
      colleague, Pierre Parnel, a history teacher he says was a rock of the
      community, also died.

      "He was a very important person for this community," Lafond said. "We
      are going to have about 50 years just to build again."

      There is a sense of the surreal as well.

      Patients waited for first aid in front of a partially disintegrated
      Carrefour hospital as a man ran around with a bullhorn yelling, "All care is
      free! Do not give anyone money!"

      Inside, a team from Doctors Without Borders examined a pregnant woman,
      Celine Gelsaint. She was due the day the quake struck but did not deliver,
      and since then her baby breached the placenta and died. She will die, too,
      they said, if she does not receive an emergency cesarian section that nobody
      in town can currently provide. A midwife could only watch over her as she
      received a saline drip.

      "This hospital, we could re-equip" said Hans Van Dillen, country
      director for Doctors Without Borders-Holland. "They have nothing, but if we
      could bring in the materials and the people, we could have it up and running
      in a couple hours."

      Out on the streets, there is fear of what might come, even among the

      Johnny Simplice, a 26-year-old who followed thousands of other
      recruits to Haiti's re-forming National Police in the past year, moved his
      shotgun butt in the dirt.

      "Everything is not OK here. People have been looting since the
      earthquake�guys who have escaped from prison," he said. "Their objective is
      to dissolve the police."

      He wishes he could do more for his increasingly troubled people, who
      had come to see the police as a sign of hope and security instead of the
      aggressors they were in the past. But the earthquake has made that

      "A lot of police died. We don't have enough to work," he said.

      * * *

      Digicel, the biggest mobile phone operator in Haiti, sent this statement to
      reporters on Friday:

      As Digicel continues to work around the clock to restore vital
      communications in Haiti, the company today expressed grave concern that
      flights carrying the necessary experts and equipment are not able to land at
      Haiti�s international airport.

      A fully operational communications network is of critical importance to
      the relief efforts that are currently underway and, to date, four flights
      carrying Digicel technicians and equipment have been turned away from the
      airport in Port-au-Prince.

      Digicel Chairman, Denis O�Brien, said: �We have been in contact with the
      United Nations and numerous NGOs who are telling us that restoring Haiti�s
      communications network is a vital first step in this relief effort. It is
      critical that our planes carrying all the necessary equipment and
      technicians be allowed to land in Haiti.�

      Following the earthquake on Tuesday, January 12th, Digicel deployed a team
      of technical experts to Haiti. Digicel�s three switches - which serve the
      entire country � have been assessed by the team and they are operational.
      However, a number of sites have been damaged � specifically some roof top
      sites in Port-au-Prince. Congestion also continues to be an issue which
      Digicel will be able to resolve once the necessary equipment arrives.

      * * *

      Amy Wilentz
      Writer, Haiti, Middle East, LA

      Posted: January 15, 2010 12:09 PM
      BIO Become a Fan
      Get Email Alerts Bloggers' Index
      Haiti and the Depths of Darkness
      digg Huffpost - stumble reddit del.ico.us

      Read More: Duvalier Dynasty , Haiti , Haiti Earthquake , Haiti Earthquake
      Relief , Jean Bertrand Aristide , Papa Doc Duvalier , Pierre Joseph Valcin ,
      Port-Au-Prince , Richard Morse , World News
      It's the middle of the night and I'm trying unsuccessfully to locate friends
      in Port-au-Prince over the Internet. Nothing's getting me anywhere. I'm
      imagining the apartment building where I last saw Renald Clerisme, a former
      priest who was a hard worker in the cause of democracy and who was foreign
      minister under Rene Preval for a time. Renald is an old friend of mine and
      one of the great analysts of the Haitian scene, humorous and caustic even,
      and always quick to rip through hypocrisy. His place was in a new and modern
      apartment building, and I am finding it hard, as I scroll through Google
      Earth and the New York Times before-and-after photos, to believe it
      survived. I'm hoping he wasn't home when the earthquake struck.

      I'm sitting right now under a painting I bought at the Hotel Oloffson in
      late January, 1986, on my first visit. The Duvalier dynasty was about to
      fall. The painting is by Pierre Joseph Valcin and it features the
      personifications (although I didn't know it at the time) of the voodoo
      figures Cousin Zaka and Baron Samedi. Zaka is a central agricultural figure,
      the god of the fields, and Baron is the lord of the cemetery. In the
      painting the two are meeting in a wooded but solitary grove, Baron atop a
      white horse. Both men are barefoot and the trees that surround them seem
      alive and full of a kind of spirited menace. The two men seem to be
      arranging something between them -- now when I look at it the painting seems
      to have some new awful meaning, and I've just noticed for the first time
      that Zaka has under his arm a tiny coffin. Read one way, it's a farmer
      leading the lord of the cemetery through the last forest of Haiti.

      And of course one reason there are so many dead in Haiti is that agriculture
      in the countryside was no longer providing a livelihood for Haitian
      peasants; they moved in the thousands to the capital, they built shanties on
      the sides of canyons; all gone now. I won't go over the arguments against
      globalization for countries like Haiti here. Suffice it to say that Haiti,
      once the Pearl of the Antilles, once France's most valuable and productive
      colony, and still into the 19th century at least an important provider of
      the world's sugar, rum, and coffee, is now a net importer.

      The earthquake did some very bizarre things, things that we can see very
      clearly, while Haitians on the ground may not realize what's gone. The
      absolute deflation of the National Palace -- one doesn't know how to feel
      about it, properly. So many bad things went on there. Papa Doc Duvalier did
      much of his wretched planning and conniving in that giant white behemoth.
      Baby Doc had parties there and lived in regal splendor with his babe of a
      wife, the witchy Michele Bennett.

      After Baby Doc fled with Michele, I attended the installation of the
      National Council of Government (more like a US-installed junta, for all the
      fancy name) and watched in amazement as a panic tore through a ceremony and
      people knocked over their gold-painted, red-cushioned chairs as they tried
      to flee the room. When Aristide came into power, he spoke from the steps of
      the building to a huge crowd of Haitians who gathered behind the Palace

      A few days later, he took me on a tour, and showed me Michele Bennett's
      disco dressing room, as big as an American living room, and her refrigerated
      fur closet (in a tropical country!). There were always great fat geese
      wandering around the palace grounds in the back, and big men with guns
      patrolling. Now this imposing triple-domed edifice looks like three fat
      pillows that have lost their stuffing.

      The earthquake has erased both the personal and political past. It's a
      terribly strange sensation, as if memory has been ripped away.
      Port-au-Prince's charm was always ramshackle. There were still gingerbread
      houses, as of Monday, and some old wooden construction downtown that had
      escaped fire and flood. Downtown, especially on Grande Rue, there was a kind
      of cacophony and chaos that still seemed to work; the people of Haiti are
      very very busy all the time because to cobble anything together there,
      anything of sustenance, takes a tremendous amount of energy. Now whole
      neighborhoods are gone. I read in the Tweets of friends in Haiti that all
      the places where we lived are flattened, and hundreds of the residents
      killed. One Tweet I read yesterday from Richard Morse, who sometimes blogs
      here and who runs the Oloffson, read simply "Bodies. Bodies. Bodies.

      In the old days when I talked to my friend Renald, I would laugh at his
      optimism. It didn't matter who had been assassinated recently, or what
      economic crisis was happening, what flood. It didn'<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.