Haiti Earthquake: Thousands Feared Dead

Injured people sit along Delmas road the day after an earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday. AP

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric heads a team that is in Haiti covering the earthquake.

Dawn is supposed to bring hope. But today -- sunlight revealed hundreds of deadin the streets of Port-Au-Prince.

CBS News anchor Katie Couric reports parents have lost children, and children have lost their parents.

Survivors not overcome with grief used their bare hands to remove the rubble that trapped their families and neighbors. It's now a race to save the people buried under the destroyed hillside neighborhoods and shanty towns of the capital city.

"Information on the full extent of the damage is still scanty," said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

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A third of all Haitians - 3 million people - need emergency aid. One of the first priorities is setting up medical care for the thousands of injured. All three hospitals operated by Doctors Without Bordershave collapsed or had to be abandoned. Many of its doctors are missing.

What infrastructure Port-Au-Prince had -- is practically gone. The presidential palace, which weathered decades of political unrest, is in ruins. There's little water, spotty electricity, and no place to store the dead.

Adding to the chaos is that the biggest relief organization in Haiti -- the United Nations -- is in shambles. At least 14 UN workers are dead. More than 100 others may be buried under their collapsed headquarters.

A search and rescue team from Virginia is already here. They'll be joined by other teams as far away as Europe and China. A U.S. aircraft carrier is on its way. Two thousand Marines may follow.

"We're looking at all the options to make sure we have as much flexibility as possible," said General Douglas Fraser, U.S. Southern Command.

In the best of times, Haitians endure daily hardships. Four out of five people here already lived in poverty. Few could imagine the catastrophe unleashed by the 30 second earthquake that left Port-Au-Prince covered in a cloud of dust.

The coming days will be about survival: for the injured, the orphaned, and an entire nation that now faces the greatest crisis in its history.
  • Katie Couric

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