Haiti Midnight Update
Bill Clinton has an op-ed in Thursday's Washington Post on how to help Haiti.
MSNBC's David Shuster is hosting a show at midnight ET on Haiti, with reports from a few hours ago from those on the scene, including Brian Williams, Kerry Sanders, Al Roker and Ann Curry. (If you saw Olberman, you've probably already seen them.) Kerry Sanders is predicting anarchy will set in. Air traffic control is being set up. The flights are starting to come in. The Canadian military has arrived.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has canceled her trip to Australia and is heading back to Washington from Honolulu due to the Haiti crisis.
Some experts are saying the death toll could reach 500,000 and rival the 2004 tsunami which killed 230,000 people. That seems to include people who will die from lack of treatment and after-effects, in addition to those killed in the actual earthquake, although all numbers seem to be guestimates right now. . From ABC News Australia: [More...]
As aftershocks continued to shake the devastated capital Port-au-Prince, residents tried to rescue people trapped under rubble, clawing at chunks of concrete with bare hands. Tens of thousands wandered dazed and sobbing in the chaotic, broken streets, hoping desperately for assistance. One young man yelled at reporters in English: "Too many people are dying. We need international help ... no emergency, no food, no phone, no water, no nothing."
Bodies were visible all around the hilly city: under rubble, lying beside roads, and being loaded into trucks. President says death toll between 30,000 and 50,000. But PM says toll could be up to 100,000. Red Cross says up to 3 million killed, injured or homeless. Massive aid appeal underway.
There's no electricity. Where are people going to go to the bathroom? The medical implications are huge. Everyone is sleeping outside. Aftershocks are beginning.
A total nightmare. The U.S. says it may bring some Haitians to Guantanamo. It's not big enough to hold all who need help.
Back to Bill Clinton's op-ed:
First we must care for the injured, take care of the dead, and sustain those who are homeless, jobless and hungry. As we clear the rubble, we will create better tomorrows by building Haiti back better: with stronger buildings, better schools and health care; with more manufacturing and less deforestation; with more sustainable agriculture and clean energy.
Establishing this foundation for a better Haitian future will require assistance from governments, businesses and private citizens. The people of Haiti deserve our support. Those eager to help can donate through the U.N. effort, my own foundation or by text message (text "HAITI" to 20222 to donate $10 to U.N. relief efforts).
Even Russia is pitching in. From the AFP newswire:
An airplane carrying search and rescue teams left Moscow Thursday for quake-devastated Haiti, as Russia pledged to send more aid including a field hospital and medical supplies, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The first Il-76 airplane, which lifted off from Moscow at 0230 GMT, will "deliver a specially equipped car, rescuers and trained seeker dogs," the emergency situations ministry said. More airplanes will bring in a field hospital for 50 people "with surgical and diagnostic equipment as well as a blood lab", the ministry said.
Update: Check out David Morel's photos of the devastation at Corbis Images. A good twitter feed from someone in Haiti is RAMHaiti, but I think he just went to bed. Check again tomorrow. He says it's quiet and peaceful, no violence.
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