A 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti at approximately 4:53 p.m. ET on Tuesday has left the Caribbean nation in shambles as rescuers scramble to save lives and the U.S. and other governments mobilize an international rescue effort. The Red Cross estimates that as many as 50,000 people may have died.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
This is a continuation of Day Four of CBSNews.com's earthquake coverage, which we've split into two parts. For the more recent updates, see the rest of Day Four.
10:44 a.m. ET: U.N. World Food Program spokeswoman Emilia Casella said officials in Port-au-Prince have recovered most stocks of food aid from four warehouses in the city, and would be . She said earlier reports the U.N. had received of looting appear to have been overblown.
10:32 a.m. ET: Stefano Zannini, Head of Mission for Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Haiti, said this morning that there are thousands of people needing immediate surgical intervention. So far, MSF teams have treated and stabilized well over 1,500 wounded, and are performing emergency surgery at Choscal Hospital in the Cite Soleil area.
Patients who have been rescued are being transported by motorbikes, by pickups, even by doors used like stretchers. Most injuries, Zannini said, are open fractures. His teams have also seen people badly burned. But, he added, they have had some deliveries too.
"Our first surgical activity was a complicate delivery, and I'm very proud to share with you that we were able to save both the lives of the baby and mother," he said.
Zannini described thousands of people wandering the streets, and said the three things they are most urgently seeking are medical attention, food, and shelter.
10:04 a.m. ET: Video on CNN of the main prison in Haiti's capital showed the rubble from which at least 4,000 criminals escaped following the earthquake. UN officials believe the prisoners rioted after the quake, overwhelmed the guards and escaped. Reporters found the prison's front door wide open. Inside they discovered four dead bodies, bloody handprints on the walls, and a rope dangling over the wall where prisoners escaped.
The prison's warden, Alexandre Jean Herisse, told Anderson Cooper that the prison's population — criminals, bandits, assassins — will be a big problem for the country now that they are loose.
9:49 a.m. ET: The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived off the coast of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti Friday morning, to commence humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. "Our initial focus is to concentrate on saving lives while providing first responder support to the people of Haiti," said Rear. Adm. Ted Branch. "Our assistance here reflects our nation's compassion and commitment to those impacted by this tragedy."
9:42 a.m. ET: A weeping former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, living in exile in Africa since he was ousted in a rebellion five years ago, said Friday he wants to return to his quake-devastated country and is prepared to leave immediately, but did not indicate any concrete plans to do so.
9:42 a.m. ET: The Miami-Dade School District has drawn up plans to meet the needs of Haitian orphaned children should charities move ahead with plans to bring them to South Florida, the Miami Herald reports. The plans would include opening locations and readying schools for an influx of new students to receive age-appropriate lesson in Haitian Creole, and to provide psychological and support services.
Nearly 19 percent of the district's 300,000 students are of Haitian heritage, according to Education Week.
The school district may also consider creating an off-shore school for children affected by the tragedy, such as on the site of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. The school district had deployed teachers overseas during the 1980 Mariel Boatlift.
"In our industry, we ask no questions," Carvalho told the Herald. "Children come to us. We hug them. We educate them. We love them."
The Broward School District is also preparing for new students. Nearly 18 percent of the district's more than 35,000 students born outside of the U.S. are Haitian.
9:28 a.m. ET: A World Health Organization spokesperson said there was . Authorities fear the death toll could reach 50,000. (AP)
9:18 a.m. ET: Footwear manufacturer Crocs, Inc. announced it is donating thousands of pairs of Crocs shoes to Haitian earthquake victims. (AP)
9:15 a.m. ET: France moved to help disaster-hit Haiti by urging creditors to speed efforts to cancel the impoverished Caribbean nation's debt, in order to free funds that otherwise would be used on repayments. Though the Paris Club of creditor nations agreed in July to clear Haiti's remaining $215 million debt to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the process can still take years to finalize. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said she asked members of the informal club to speed up the process. (AP)
9:05 a.m. ET: CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports that as of approximately 8:25 a.m. this morning, the American public has responded to the Haiti crisis by donating more than $8 million for Haiti relief — $10 dollars at a time — by texting HAITI to 90999. The U.S. State Department worked with the American Red Cross to rapidly set up a text-to-donate solution to raising relief funds that was then aggressively and widely promoted by the Obama Administration.
9:01 a.m. ET An official from Interchurch Medical Assistance, an NGO based in New Windsor, Md., confirmed the identities of three American survivors pulled from the rubble of the Hotel Montana: CEO Rick Santos of Silver Springs, Md.; Dr. Sarla Chand of Teaneck, N.J., VP of Programs; and program director Ann Varghese of Baltimore, Md. The IMA team was in Haiti for a conference on neglected tropical diseases. Reuters reports that 14 people were pulled from the hotel last night, and 70 are still feared trapped.
8:41 a.m. ET: The family of Molly Hightower, a 22-year-old from the Seattle area who was volunteering in Haiti for the organization Friends of the Orphans since last June (here is her blog chronicling her work), told KOMO Radio that a search crew found her body in the rubble of the collapsed orphanage in Port-au-Prince.
8:00 a.m. ET: CBS News correspondent Charles Wolfson reports that four Americans have been pulled out alive from rubble in Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. State Department. The survivors, who were not identified, were pulled from rubble at the Hotel Montana. A State Department official tells Wolfson rescuers were working to extract two more people still trapped.
8:00 a.m. ET: A glance on countries reporting dead and missing in Haiti: Brazil: 15 deaths and five missing. Dominican Republic: Four dead. Canada: Four dead and five missing. Chile: Four missing. France: Two confirmed deaths and several missing. Mexico: One death, 40 of the 80 Mexicans living in Haiti located. Italy: About 100 reported missing. Spain: 24 missing. Netherlands: Three injured, including a child; 22 missing. Costa Rica: Five missing. Denmark: Two reported missing, including one U.N. worker. Chile: Two missing. Uruguay: One missing. Poland: Four missing. Norway: One missing. United States: One dead and three missing. The embassy contacted nearly 1,000 Americans, but an estimated 45,000 are in the country. United Nations: 36 U.N. personnel confirmed dead and nearly 200 missing. (NY Times)
6:43 a.m. ET: Luke Renner, president of Fireside International, a non-profit group working in Haiti, confirmed to CBS News Friday morning that three Americans were among five people pulled alive from the Hotel Montana overnight in Port-au-Prince. Their names are: Jim Gulley, Rick Santos and Sarla Chande.
6:43 a.m. ET: Scientists who detected worrisome signs of growing stresses in the fault that unleashed this week's devastating earthquake in Haiti said Thursday . Their sobering findings, presented during a geological conference in March 2008 and at meetings two months later, showed that the fault was capable of causing a 7.2-magnitude earthquake - slightly stronger than Tuesday's 7.0 quake that rocked the impoverished country. (Source: AP)
6:43 a.m. ET: A New York Mayor learned Thursday that her husband survived the earthquake in Haiti's capital. Noramie Jasmin, Mayor of Spring Valley, was in the village hall lobby when she announced that her husband Ronald had been in touch, according to a report on the news Web site LoHud.com.
"He's OK, thank God," Jasmin said. "My son got a phone call this afternoon." Ronald Jasmin had been traveling in Haiti, where the family has a home, when the earthquake hit. Noramie and her sons, Ashley Jasmin and Leonardo Jasmin, appeared on "The Early Show" Thursday morning. "If I don't hear from him today," she told CBS, "I will make plans to travel to Haiti."
5:28 a.m. ET: The U.N. World Food Program says its warehouses in the Haitian capital have been looted. The WFP doesn't know how much of its pre-earthquake stockpile in Port-au-Prince of 15,000 tons of food aid remains. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are hungry after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. Spokeswoman Emilia Casella stressed Friday that looting was normal in emergency situations. She noted that regular food stores in the capital also "have been cleaned out" since the quake. The agency said it was working to collect enough ready-to-eat meals to feed 2 million Haitians for a month. (Source: AP)
3:25 a.m. ET: First lady Michelle Obama has taped a public service announcement on behalf of the Red Cross as part of the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake. A statement from the Ad Council says the thrust of the PSA is to encourage support from Americans for the relief effort by asking them to contact the Red Cross. The PSAs encourage audiences to go to RedCross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or, on cell phones, text HAITI to 90999 to send an automatic $10 donation.
3:06 a.m. ET: Shaul Schwarz, a photographer for TIME magazine, has told The Telegraph that he's seen at least two roadblocks made of the bodies of earthquake victims and rocks in downtown Port-au-Prince. The photographer suggested the gruesome barriers were formed by Haitians as a protest at the slow arrival of desperately needed aid. "They are starting to block the roads with bodies, it's getting ugly out there, people are fed up with getting no help," he told the newspaper. Huge amounts of international aid and personnel are flooding into Haiti, but the capital city's devastated infrastructure — and roads choked with debris and bodies — are creating massive bottlenecks, slowing the flow of resources to those in need.
2:29 a.m. ET: Lynn University of South Florida says three students who were believed to be safe in Haiti actually remain unaccounted for. The president of Lynn in Boca Raton says the private contractor the school hired to help find the missing students had received "bad intelligence." The students are Stephanie Crispinelli of Katonah, N.Y.; Courtney Hayes of Boca Raton, Fla.; and Britney Gengel of Rutland, Mass. They were among 12 students and two faculty members traveling with the aid group Food For The Poor. Eight of the students have been evacuated to the Dominican Republic. One other student, Christine Gianacaci, of Hopewell, N.J., remains missing, as do faculty members Patrick Hartwick and Richard Bruno.
1:15 a.m. ET: Here's a note from our CNET colleague Ina Fried, who forwarded e-mail from Partners In Health, which has been building clinics in Haiti for 20 years. It quotes Cate Oswald, a PIH staffer in Haiti, who traveled through the central plateau to Port-au-Prince on Wednesday with two truckloads of meds and supplies: "Tonight, everywhere throughout the city, as we drove by the national plaza, there are thousands of people sleeping outside. While I was in Port-au-Prince, there were still aftershocks being felt. I didn't venture into other parts of the city, but as you all know, koze sa pa jwet menm (Haitian saying literally translated as 'this is not a game')." PIH says that their Internet connection was down for a day and is now back up. You can donate to PIH here.
1:05 a.m. ET: The Boston Globe, once again, has posted excellent photographs.
12:59 a.m. ET: If you live in earthquake country, are you prepared for a 7.0-magnitude quake? If you don't, what about the possibility of hurricanes, ice storms, blizzards, tornadoes, or floods that can interrupt power and disrupt government services? Our sister site CNET has some preparedness suggestions, and the San Francisco Chronicle has earthquake-specific tips. Flashlights with lithium batteries (a 10-year shelf life) can come in handy, as can a battery backup or a generator. Storing food and water -- why not a week, if you have the space? -- also makes sense.
12:51 a.m. ET: After emergency medical care and water, the next problem in Haiti may be disease. There's no sanitation in some areas, leading to predictions of diarrheal diseases, including cholera and E. coli.
12:49 a.m. ET: Social Order Breakdown Watch: From WCBS-TV: "As gang members marched up and down the streets with machetes, competition among the gangs grew fierce. Much like the days after Hurricane Katrina, looting has quickly become a problem…" Here's our CBS News report.
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12:47 a.m. ET: If you live in the New York City area, and you'd rather donate supplies (toothpaste, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, and so on) rather than cash, here's one option. The drop-off point is in Brooklyn. Here's more.
12:45 a.m. ET: Cuba is now allowing flyovers, making flights from Miami 90 minutes shorter.
12:30 a.m. ET: The New York Times focuses on the morgue in Port-au-Prince: "With chilling regularity, a pickup truck from the Haitian police or a taxi driver with a station wagon pulled up to deliver more bodies to the morgue. Flies buzzed on many of the bodies. Civil servants unloaded the cargo, their expressions hidden by white surgical masks. Hundreds of bodies, those of adults and children alike, were already piled outside the morgue, bloated under the blazing sun. Relatives picked their way around them trying to find the missing, trying to block out the putrid smell."
12:15 a.m. ET: It's now Friday, and we're switching from our Day Three coverage. Updates will now be posted here.
11:54 p.m. ET: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an Atlanta-based employee working in Haiti remains missing. The CDC said in a statement Thursday that the 31-year-old woman was in Haiti at the time of the quake and is unaccounted for. There are 35 Haitians employed by the CDC in Port-au-Prince; 31 of those employees have been accounted for.
11:51 p.m. ET: The communications director for Republican Chuck DeVore's campaign for U.S. senator in California offered an unusual suggestion via Twitter. Josh Trevino wrote about Haiti: "The best thing the international community can do is tend the wounded, bury the dead, and then LEAVE. That includes all UN and charity." A followup post from Trevino added that he was "skeptical" that non-Haitians can build a functioning and stable society.
11:43 p.m. ET: In Haiti, according to The Scotsman, "Money is worth nothing right now -- water is the only currency." And lawlessness is threatening to break out.
11:40 p.m. ET: You can find earthquake survivors alive days later. It just becomes increasingly unlikely.