More Than 100,000 Feared Dead in Haiti

Haiti's prime minister says more than 100,000 likely died in the earthquake. The U.S. says there are no tallies yet and thinks that number is high.

Twitter has live first hand reports here.

The main prison in Haiti has collapsed. I hope the prisoners got out or are getting help.

Doctors Without borders says ALL hospitals in Haiti's Port au Prince area have either collapsed or been abandoned.

More pictures here.

The Red Cross has now committed $1 mllion. Here are President Obama's remarks today.

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    Given the intensity of the quake, the population (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by esmense on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:13:54 PM EST
    of the city, the state of the infrastructure, I suspect the number will end up being much higher. What a tragedy!

    I can say (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by AlkalineDave on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:20:01 PM EST
    the Marines here are chomping at the bits to get in there and deliver aid, work in clean up etc.

    It is strange how soldiers (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:27:44 PM EST
    get seen in a certain light.  This light is something that not enough see, how you all are when the very worst tragedy has occurred and there is nothing left to do now that doesn't come with sweat and tears. You are all clamoring, demanding to know when you will get orders to go.

    Yes (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by AlkalineDave on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:38:17 PM EST
    a good majority of our mission in the military are humanitarian assistance missions, and we all fight tooth and nail to get selected for them.  Actually doing something meaningful is always preferable to sitting at home.  It's why we join, though you know that.

    A relative of mine (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by otherlisa on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:48:40 PM EST
    was in the Marines reserve, deployed during Gulf War 1. Afterwards they stopped in Bangladesh to aid the cyclone victims. He told me that almost made the whole deployment worthwhile, and he came home feeling a lot better than he would have if he'd only gone to war.

    It's sad to think (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:32:43 PM EST
    that we can pour millions into the country, save a lot of lives, rebuild...but that the initial staggering poverty of the country means that too many lives were already lost.  And it's also sad to think I wouldn't have made this comment at noon yesterday, because it takes such losses/events to direct our attention to poverty.

    and wow that was saccharine (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:50:25 PM EST
    but the situation is too f*ed up for me to think of anything original.

    That was pretty much exactly the reaction I had (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by andgarden on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:44:39 PM EST
    last night when I first saw video on the 11pm news.

    not saccharine at all. (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:57:34 PM EST
    just seemed sincere.

    It's frustrating to think of how much time it may (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by esmense on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:23:22 PM EST
    take to get desperately needed resources to the country. The US has a hospital ship on standby in Baltimore, but I've read that it may take up to 5 days before it is fully ready to respond. Canada also has a hospital ship on standby.

    I'm praying that the needed resources are not only available, but, equally important, that they can be mobilized quickly enough.

    This is such a terrible situation because there were so few emergency resources in the country to begin with, and now even those slim resources are destroyed.

    Thankfully, casualty estimates (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:00:05 PM EST
    seem to be heading lower than 100K, however there are reports that the water system has been seriously damaged.

    I don't know what to say (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:01:42 PM EST
    One of the twitters says that the U.N. compound was hit and devastated too and at least 100 U.N. workers are buried alive.  Many twitters about no real aid being delivered yet to anyone.  A day has passed and we cannot get there soon enough.

    German radio reported the same - (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:38:24 PM EST
    that the UN Aid HQ collapsed in the quake and the UN has no definiive idea about how their people are doing, nor if they are alive or dead though, it appears, some are trapped in the rubble.

    All in all, horrific.


    According to CNN (none / 0) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 12:58:00 PM EST
    the control tower at the airport partially collapsed and there's no functioning air traffic control of any kind to guide in planes.  They've got to get something up and working to do that before supply or troop planes can come in.

    And FWIW, the quake was around 5 PM Eastern, so it's not even 24 hours yet.


    And we await permission to enter (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:35:41 PM EST
    a country with our governmental aid, even only to give and not to invade.  And every report that the president of Haiti is "alive" puts that in quotes -- and with the devastation of the palace, I wonder whether that's code for him being seriously injured.  

    This is why NGO's may be able to get in there sooner with aid, and especially those already somewhat established there.


    Sounds very sketchy (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:58:53 PM EST
    Considering the overall problems that Haiti was trying to deal with, this situation has a lot of potential to blossom into many different increments of flammable.

    I don't think there's any question that (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    Haitian Pres Rene Preval is very much alive.

    Good, and now the latest on delays (none / 0) (#30)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:59:57 PM EST
    is that without the airport control tower, planes had to wait for our U.S. Coast Guard ships to get there that are equipped and staffed to guide in planes safely.  (Aside from the aid element of that, I have to add that is cool technology.)

    But latest is that those Coast Guard ships will be there soon, and then aid planes can begin to land.


    Devastating. (none / 0) (#10)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:01:59 PM EST

    This feels like the tsunami... (none / 0) (#11)
    by magster on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:17:16 PM EST
    news reports. Just overwhelming in scope.

    More gobbledegook (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:41:18 PM EST
    I read Obama's speech.
    The first people he says will receive help are the American embassy staff and other Americans. That should put us in solid with the Haitians...

    The rest of his tome is vague indeed.
    First they'll assess the damage.
    They'll "mobilize resources".
    They'll be "working closely with partners on the ground."
    They'll be as "forward-leaning as possible in getting the help on the ground and coordinating with our international partners as well."  
    "Forward leaning"? I thought this guy was supposed to be able to speak English.

    No specifics - like we're sending food and water. When are where this will be available. The Red Cross is the agency doing something - but the government of the US? Hot air.

    When I think that we are spending almost a billion dollars a day in Iraq alone, I wonder what kind of planet we're on. What kind of country we've become.

    For quick aid (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by otherlisa on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:50:03 PM EST
    This has been making the rounds:

    Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to @RedCross relief efforts in #Haiti. It is that simple. Learn more: http://bit.ly/6KiRtE


    Military Aid (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CST on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:36:22 PM EST
    on it's way.

    "U.S. officials are laying out a massive military response to the Haiti earthquake, saying that ships, helicopters, transport planes and a 2,000-member Marine unit are either on the way or likely to begin moving soon."
     - That's just to start, more coming later.

    "The general said that a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, is also heading from Norfolk, Va., to the area and should arrive Thursday afternoon."
     - Very important because aircraft carriers have hospitals on board.


    Take good care Dave and Co! (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:00:39 PM EST
    I guess in spite of an anemic sounding first response these are the actions our President will take and good on him.

    I can remember when GWB... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:27:20 PM EST
    promised $15 million to the tsunami victims. God.

    I'm assuming that we are using (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    the need to give aid to our citizens and our embassy as a way to enter.  After we do enter our own will of course be taken care of but we also be attempting to make contact with whatever authority there may be, then we can get permission to take the next step.  It is after all not our country.  We must observe sovereignty however we can.

    Sounds like the Hatian Prez (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:22:40 PM EST
    has given blanket permission to enter. I think the big problem is going to be getting the relief to where it needs once they get there. With the tower out, piers destroyed and the roads wrecked . . . and the large aftershocks aren't going to help.

    Military doesn't need towers (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:32:43 PM EST
    They have teams that do nothing except make instant mobile "towers".  We just need to get there if we are free to enter.  Our military landed and took off on runways that Bush I had blown huge holes into at Al Asad when they had to.  The airfield had been basically obliterated. They did eventually fix those, but initially you had drive around them or avoid them somehow :)

    True dat (none / 0) (#28)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:51:35 PM EST
    I was thinking more in general as far as aid reaching the areas in need. I do think I heard them say even without the tower, they would have planes in and out. Once they get staged, I suspect they'll (military and non) be fairly efficient.

    Just saw report re those mobile towers (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:01:07 PM EST
    which -- see above -- are on Coast Guard ships getting there soon, and then planes can land safely.

    You have to assume - because Obama doesn't say it. (2.00 / 1) (#23)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:12:06 PM EST
    Now, in the case of a humanitarian disaster, we observe sovereignty...

    What comes through loud and clear to me is that Obama isn't about to commit major financial resources to this effort. If he is, he is being secretive about it.

    I put myself in the place of one of the Haitians. If I read this speech, I would just know that the US isn't going to do anything to help me.
    It would not be comforting.

    Can't Obama speak? Does he have to use bureaucratese to address people who have just lost everything and are in danger of losing their very lives?

    The Haitian people need immediate help. And Obama says that he will be "forward leaning". I hope he leans forward over a bathtub and falls in.


    Sovereignty is ALWAYS an issue (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:28:27 PM EST
    His first words on this may not be "choice" but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this moment.  We will know what is up with him if indeed something is in the next 24 hours.

    I (2.00 / 2) (#38)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:27:10 PM EST
    don't see Obama giving much of a hang when Pakistan complains about drones. Obama said that there are terrists there, and if they don't do something about it, he would. That's not much respect for national sovereignty. When something arises, and it's a question of our "national interest" or someone else's national sovereignty, it has seemed to me that our "interests" always trump the latter.

    That's my perception, anyway.

    In any case, I just found the bureaucratese to be mind boggling.
    Can't the guy talk?
    As an American, I found it cold and appalling.
    He didn't even give the number where people could call to contribute.

    I will be interested to see what the US actually contributes in real dollars to the relief effort.

    I will admit that in back of my mind is the 750,000,000 dollars a day we spend in Iraq - and the good that that money could do for people who need help.


    Good to know we can count on you (none / 0) (#42)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:31:10 AM EST
    to find a way to criticize Obama in the middle of a humanitarian crisis- seriously dude the ODS is a bit much at times.

    Relief agencies (none / 0) (#21)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:01:09 PM EST
    Does anyone know what aid organizations are already on the ground in Haiti and are likely to be especially effective there?  Are the Red Cross and Doctors w/o Borders the best organizations to donate to or are there other, less obvious ones?

    And of the $33B we are prepared to throw down the rat hole on our war efforts, couldn't we divert a bilion or so to this worthy cause?

    Doctors Without Borders was devastated (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:05:40 PM EST
    with all three of its hospitals there hit, per a report I just got (from a sibling who is in DWB).  And they have lost many staff.  Those who are there are essentially treating people in the streets, it seems, or in whatever facilities can be found.

    So others are readying to get there -- once our ships get there to guide in planes; see above -- and calls are out for more.  But the first need always is for triage of the whole area, i.e., assessment of the needs from specialists to facilities (especially surgeons and surgical facilities and equipment, apparently, with all DWB facilities now rubble).

    DWB is a great organization to support -- truly worthy winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. . . .


    Red Cross and MSF/DWB have excellent reach ... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 02:57:02 PM EST
    ... and preparedness. I know that the latter can get health professionals on the scene lightning fast: many of their doctors worldwide keep a bag packed to leave for a nearby area of distress at (literally) a moment's notice.

    You can also check in with your local Haitian community and see if they need immediate help too (mundane but much-appreciated stuff like beverages and sandwiches, an extra pair of hands, some wheels to drive people to and fro and so on.)


    Doctors Without Borders (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by DFLer on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:30:17 PM EST
    donate to Haitian effort here

    They are a great organization. Their main web page here has news of their efforts in Haiti in this crisis.


    News just reported RC (none / 0) (#37)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:04:17 PM EST
    has exhausted their stock of medical supplies down there. More on the way . . .

    Another blow (none / 0) (#35)
    by jen on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:40:35 PM EST
    to an impoverished country in which the worst off have no chance to advance until much more light is shined on what is happening there.

    The corruption in Haiti is devastating, and this new book (TRAVESTY in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking) by Timothy T. Schwartz goes far in revealing what goes on behind the US AID scams in Haiti.

    Beware of who you send donations to. Charity Navigator is a good place to find detailed information on different charities. (The link goes to the Charity Navigator blog on Haiti.)

    Pat Robertson: (none / 0) (#36)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 03:52:41 PM EST
    Haiti made a pact with the devil.

    Yup, freeing themselves from slavery angered ... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:01:34 PM EST
    God, who prefers people to be in bondage. The gospel according to Pat:

    Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal.

    And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

    Pat's just not worth the lightning bolt, I guess, but Toussaint L'Ouverture must keep paying and paying for what he did.


    MSF/DWB (none / 0) (#43)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 11:18:51 AM EST
    Indeed a great organization. In any humanitarian disaster you can feel confident donating to them.