Haiti Earthquake Updates: Days Two, Three

Cindy Terasme screams after seeing the feet of her dead 14-year-old brother Jean Gaelle Dersmorne in the rubble of the collapsed St. Gerard School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti at approximately 4:53 p.m. ET 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. Early reports indicate the death toll could be in the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. (Haiti's population is nearly 10 million.) Track up-to-the-minute developments below as news unfolds and follow CBSNews.com's complete coverage:

The below updates are from Day Three of CBSNews.com's coverage of the Haitian earthquake

4:55 p.m. ET: Raymond Joseph, Haiti's ambassador to the United States, tells CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan that he would like to see relief supplies distributed more quickly in his country.

Joseph specifically would like to see the U.S. military help distribute supplies already in the country among survivors, he told Logan. He said he's aware that many countries have pledged to provide aid to the earthquake-ravaged country but that Haitians aren't seeing that impact fast enough.

Joseph also told Logan that much of the country's cellular network has been restored. He didn't have an update on the earthquake's death toll.

4:34 p.m. ET: A desperate citizenry combined with an absence of police forces has led to increased looting in Port-au-Prince.

Video footage from the city showed bands of Haitian youths armed with machetes wandering the streets looting, as the local police were largely invisible.

(Ed. note: CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella will report on looting in Port-au-Prince on the CBS Evening News, tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST.)

4:23 p.m. ET: The State Department issued a travel warning discouraging Americans from traveling to Haiti between now and Feb. 13.

4:15 p.m. ET: A 220-person delegation of doctors, nurses, medics, police forces and an elite search and rescue team is en route to Haiti from Israel, the country's embassy announced. The delegation is bringing enough medicine and emergency equipment to set up a field hospital.

"You are going on a humanitarian mission on behalf of all of Israel in accordance with the valued Jewish tradition of aiding one's fellow man," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the delegation in a statement.

International Aid to Haiti: Who's Giving

3:25 p.m. ET: A State Department spokesman said 164 Americans have been airlifted out of Haiti, including 72 private citizens and 42 non-essential officials and family members of employees. The Americans left the country on Coast Guard C-130s. Another 50 private citizens were evacuated on an Iceland Air flight.

Throughout Thursday, 360 more Americans are expected to leave on evacuation flights.

(CBS/ AP)
3:15 p.m. ET: New pictures from Haiti compared side-by-side with older photos show how powerfully the earthquake struck the country.

(At left, this two-photo combination shows the National Palace in Port-au-Prince Wednesday, one day after the earthquake.)

Latest Video Shows Presidential Palace in Ruins, Crumpled Shanty Towns

(Google Earth)
Earlier Thursday, Google Earth released satellite photos taken before and after the earthquake.

2:37 p.m. ET: When asked about Pat Robertson's devil comment during his daily briefing, White Hose Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it never ceases to amaze him that someone could say something "so utterly stupid," CBS News Correspondent Mark Knoller reports.

2:31 p.m. ET: CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan reports that the Catholic Church and Florida authorities are working on bringing orphans from Haiti to Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood.

2:25 p.m. ET: The Rev. Al Sharpton announced that he plans to travel to Haiti Friday, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, in honor of the famed civil rights leader.

The popular New York minister will be accompanied by Harold Ford Jr., a former Tennessee congressman considering a run against New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed after Hillary Rodham Clinton vacated her seat.

Sharpton said a coalition of clergy and local leaders will also join him in Haiti.

2:10 p.m. ET: CBS News reports that 11 of the who were caught in the earthquake are safe at the U.S. embassy.

1:51 p.m. ET: A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman tells CBS News that U.S. officials will decide at 2 p.m. Eastern time whether to continue its "ground stop" of Haiti-bound planes.

The FAA halted all U.S. planes bound for the country after Haiti's government said the airport at Port-au-Prince lacked ramp space and fuel to accommodate any more flights. The spokeswoman also said she couldn't make a statement about flights originating from other countries.

At this time, nine civilian flights were circling around the airport waiting for permission to land.

(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
1:32 p.m. ET: George Clooney is planning to host a telethon Jan. 22 to raise money for Haiti on all of MTV's channels.

Celebrities and governments have been pledging monetary aid for disaster relief and urban responders since the earthquake struck the country.

Doctors Without Borders announced Wednesday that Angelica Jolie and Brad Pitt were contributing $1 million to the organization's emergency medical operations responding to the earthquake. Lance Armstrong's Livestrong foundation pledged $250,000 to Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health.

The United Nations has released $10 million in "emergency funds" to set up immediate operations in Haiti.

U.S. officials are laying out a massive military response, saying that ships, helicopters, transport planes and a 2,000-member Marine unit are either on the way or likely to begin moving soon.

The U.N. already has 9,000 peacekeepers in Haiti, but 100 are missing after its headquarters collapsed.

From Iceland, 37 rescue personnel have arrived with 10 tons of equipment.

French newspaper Le Monde reports that 130 aid workers and six rescue dogs will be sent from France.

Spain is sending three planes with 100 tons of tents, blankets and cooking kits. The country has pledged $4.3 million in funds

Israel is sending Army engineers and medics.

Great Britain is sending 64 firefighters with rescue dogs.

The Netherlands pledged $2.9 million.

Germany pledged $1.45 million.

China pledged $1 million.

Canada pledged $5 million.

1:13 p.m. ET: People who want to contribute to relief efforts shouldn't donate anything but money, news organization GlobalPost reports.

Under no circumstances should people mail care packages, toys, food or clothes, experts tell GlobalPost. Don't even think about sending drugs. The response to prior disasters shows that regardless of intentions, such actions will only make matters worse.

1:02 p.m. ET: CBS "Evening News" Anchor Katie Couric spoke to a resident of Haiti, Frederick Auzate, about the aftermath of the earthquake, disaster relief efforts and the short supply of medical care.


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12:33 p.m. ET: The Federal Aviation Administration has stopped flights traveling from the United States to Haiti, CNN reports.

A FAA spokeswoman told the news organization that the U.S. won't clear any Haiti-bound flights for takeoff until space opens up at Port-au-Prince's airport. The Haitian government won't accept any more incoming flights because of a lack of ramp space and because the airport doesn't have any fuel to gas up planes leaving the country. The airport is already holding 10 civilian planes and one military aircraft in a holding pattern.

12:25 p.m. ET: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says a U.N. security guard in Haiti's capital, The Associated Press reports.

Ban told reporters Thursday it was "a small miracle" in the grim search for some 100 U.N. personnel still trapped in the rubble of the headquarters building and about 50 U.N. staff unaccounted for elsewhere after Tuesday's earthquake.

The U.N. chief announced that 18 U.N. peacekeepers and four international police officers have been confirmed dead.

12:22 p.m. ET: Google Earth released satellite photos taken before and after the earthquake.

The new photos show the collapsed roof of a large building and ruins of demolished buildings obstructing streets. According to Google Earth, the new pictures were taken Wednesday.

12:09 p.m. ET: Air Force Special Operations paratroopers have arrived at Port-au-Prince's Montana Hotel and are trying to dig survivors out of the rubble, CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier reports.

Maj. Jason Daniels of Air Force Special Operations Command in Hurlburt Field, Fla., also told Dozier the Air Force is operating Port-au-Prince's airport at maximum capacity.

The Air Force is considering opening another airfield but right now is focused on receiving supplies through Port-au-Prince's airport, Daniels told Dozier.

11:37 a.m. ET: A Web site promoting the use of crowdsourcing to spread information about crises has created a page for updates on the earthquake.

Ushahihi, which means the site says means "testimony" in Swahili, organizes updates from Twitter and list serves into six categories: Emergency, Collapsed Structure, Fire, People Trapped, Contaminated Water Supply and Earthquake and Aftershocks.

Organizers aim to attract people who can supply first-hand information from a cell phone.

People can provide updates by sending an e-mail to haiti@ushahidi.com, by including the hashtags #haiti or #haitiquake in Twitter updates or by filling out a form at http://haiti.ushahidi.com/reports/submit/

11:22 a.m. ET: The latest estimated death toll from the Red Cross ranges between 45,000 and 50,000.

11:11 a.m. ET: A global relief effort to help Haitian earthquake victims got underway in earnest Thursday, but .

"It's chaos," U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told The Associated Press. "It's a logistical nightmare."
11:08 a.m. ET: CBS News station KCBS-TV in Los Angeles reports that as many as 80 California firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority's urban search and rescue team were sent to Haiti Wednesday night. The Golden State connection doesn't end there. Eleven members of an Orange County church group were in Haiti during the earthquake. All members survived the quake, parishioners say, and are now contributing to relief efforts.

Local Video from CBS 2 / KCAL 9 in Los Angeles



10:31 a.m. ET: President Obama appeared with Vice President Joe Biden and several members of his cabinet Thursday morning, telling reporters that "Haiti must be a top priority for each of their agencies right now."

"We stand in solidarity with our neighbors to the south knowing that there but for the grace of God we go," Mr. Obama told reporters.

Mr. Obama announced that Biden will travel to south Florida to meet with officials from the Haitian-American community and representatives from aid groups this weekend.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. military has secured the country's airport to direct food and supplies to devastated parts of the country. The president directed Americans trying to contact loved ones in the country to visit the State Department's Web site for directions.

The president also spoke directly to Haitians during his televised appearance from the White House.

"We say clearly and with conviction you will not be forsaken and you will not be forgotten," Mr. Obama said.


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10:17 a.m. ET: CBS News Reporter Charles Wolfson reports that one American has died in Haiti, a State Department spokesman has confirmed.

10:05 a.m. ET: CBS' Co-Anchor of "The Early Show" Maggie Rodriguez speaks with consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen about steps to take to verify that donations intended for earthquake relief efforts don't instead go to scam artists.


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9:39 a.m. ET: Parents Joan and Steve Prudhomme tell CBS' Co-Anchor of "The Early Show" Harry Smith about their experience when they learned their daughter survived the earthquake. The daughter Julie is one of 12 students who the day before the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince. As of Thursday morning, five of her classmates and two faculty members are still missing.


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9:27 a.m. ET: A senior defense official tells CBS News that the 82nd Airborne Division has been deployed to Haiti as part of U.S. relief efforts. The division's first 100 servicemembers were en route as of Thursday morning. The entire brigade will be there within three to four days.

9:09 a.m. ET: CBS News station WFOR-TV in Miami reports that several people injured in Haiti arrived overnight and are being treated at two hospitals in south Florida.

Local Video from CBS4 in Miami



9:05 a.m. ET: President Obama will deliver brief remarks on recovery efforts in Haiti at 10:05 a.m. ET at the White House.

Updated: Watch President Obama deliver his remarks

8:59 a.m. ET: CBS News has confirmed that former President George W. Bush will join former President Clinton to raise funds for disaster relief in Haiti.

8:55 a.m. ET: Twelve students and two faculty members from Lynn University traveled to Haiti on a humanitarian mission the day before the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince. As of Thursday morning, .


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8:50 a.m. ET: CBS "Evening News" Anchor Katie Couric reports from Port-au-Prince that Haitians sleep outside next to dead bodies because of the fear that aftershocks will cause more buildings to crumble.


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8:42 a.m. ET: CBS "Evening News" Anchor Katie Couric updates "The Early Show" with what she's seeing on the ground in Port-au-Prince.


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8:35 a.m. ET: CBS' Co-Anchor of "The Early Show" Maggie Rodriguez interviews Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the various ways the U.S. plans to provide aid in Haiti.


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8:12 a.m. EST: Former President Bill Clinton called the Haiti earthquake "one of the great humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas" in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.

Mr. Clinton, who is the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, said country - which has been ravaged by poverty and political instability - had been "closer than ever to securing a bright future" before the earthquake struck.

The former president urged people to donate "not just to restore Haiti but to assist it in becoming the strong, secure nation its people have always desired and deserved."

7:54 a.m. ET: The World Health Organization, the United Nations' global health agency, issued a statement Thursday saying it was taking the lead in coordinating the medical earthquake relief effort in Haiti. According to a press release from the WHO, the agency's priorities include:
• Search and rescue of survivors trapped underneath rubble;
• Treatment of people with major trauma injuries;
• Preventing the infection of wounds;
• Provision of clean water and sanitation; and
• Ensuring breast-feeding is continued.
The release said attempting to control the spread of diseases that cause diarrhea and respiratory infections would be another key task.

7:30 a.m. ET: CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric reports from Port-au-Prince that few police and emergency vehicles are visible. "This is a city in shambles and on edge." U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says major damage to Haiti's main airport and ports has slowed down relief efforts. "Depending on where you are, you may not see this coordinated effort," CBS' "The Early Show"
.

7:28 a.m. ET: A senior Pentagon official tells CBS News correspondent Kimberley Dozier that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has signed an order to deploy the following U.S. military vessels to Haiti:

• USS Higgins, a destroyer, has arrived off the Haitian coast.
• USS Vinson, an aircraft carrier, is due to arrive Friday morning. It will have 13 helicopters onboard by the time it arrives.
• USS Normandy, escort ship for the Vinson, will have two helicopters onboard.
• USS Bataan amphibious ready group, which includes the Bataan assault ship carrying the 2,200-man 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. The group, which also includes the USS Ft. McHenry amphibious assault ship and the USS Carter Hall amphibious assault, will depart Norfolk, Va. Thursday afternoon and arrive early next week in Haiti.
• USS Bunker Hill cruiser departs San Diego Thursday and should arrive on Jan. 23 to serve as a landing pad for helicopters.
• USS Comfort Hospital ship scheduled to depart Baltimore on Monday and will arrive approximately five days later. The Comfort is currently being loaded with supplies and staffed with medical teams.

The defense official stressed that all arrival times are estimates, depending on sailing conditions and how quickly all necessary staff and equipment can be loaded onto the vessels.

7:00 a.m. ET: This from Dave Price, of "The Early Show", just minutes before boarding a flight from the Dominican Republic to Haiti: The airport is packed with both news crews and NGO's from all over the globe. There is a chaotic rush to flood Haiti with aid. We have left most of our luggage behind here -- only carrying what we can hold -- so our plane can ferry antibiotics and water. Officials here confess that distribution of this material is going to be a problem. Haiti was in such a desperate, fragile state before this catastrophe, and there is a global scramble at this hour to figure out how keep the country on life-support. Finding survivors, treating the injured, preventing disease, recovering the dead, preventing violence, and managing the recovery -- where do you begin?

6:36 a.m. ET: A Chinese jet said to be carrying tons of supplies plus search and rescue experts has arrived in Haiti. More than 50 people in orange jumpsuits got out, accompanied by search dogs. Thursday afternoon, the American aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is expected off the Haitian coast to help with earthquake relief. More U.S. Navy ships are en route, including one carrying 2,000 Marines who may help provide support and security. Click here for more on the U.S. Military aid mission to Haiti.

4:38 a.m. ET: A Red Cross Web site has been set up to help reconnect people cut off from relatives and friends in the Haiti earthquake. The Family Links site already lists the names of hundreds of people missing in the wake of the Jan. 12 quake. Behind each name is a registration page giving basic details on where the missing person lived or was last known to have been in Haiti, and the name and contact details of the person seeking to get in touch with them. The most poignant line on the registration pages is the last one which, in just a few words, conveys the human anguish behind the natural disaster. It reads simply, "The person sought is my:" and then a box containing the word, "sister, brother, mother, son...."

3:57 a.m. ET: Seven of 12 awarding air miles if you donate to the American Red Cross. $100 gets you 500 bonus miles.2:39 a.m. ET: Televangelist Pat Robertson's claim that Haiti is "cursed" has found at least one defender. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission posted a statement saying Robertson was right: "The modern cynic chaffs at any suggestion that there may be a connection between historical realities and unseen spiritual influences, or as the Bible calls it God's 'blessing or cursing.' Although most people are very comfortable with the notion that God blesses people, we are not at all comforted with the terrifying prospect that Almighty God might also curse… Agree or disagree with what Pat said, it was well within the bounds of historic Christian theology."2:25 a.m. ET: The next challenge for aid organizations after search and rescue: Clean water. People can survive for over a week without food, but they may die in days without water. On a good day, there's not enough food and clean drinking water to go around in Haiti -- and today is not a good day. The United Nations confirms that clean water is lacking.2:15 a.m. ET: Social Order Breakdown Watch: Looting is not exactly an unknown phenomenon in Haiti. There was looting of stores and humanitarian aid convoys after tropical storm Jeanne in 2004. There was looting in 1994 that coincided with the three-year anniversary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ouster. There was looting of stores and warehouses to protest rising food prices in 2008. On Wednesday, Agence-France Press reported that "looting soon began" the morning after the earthquake. Reuters reports that: "Port-au-Prince residents also are terrified of more aftershocks and looting. This reporter did not see a single policeman on the streets of the coastal capital." If there is in fact significant lawlessness, it won't help relief efforts. Stay tuned.2:05 a.m. ET: The UK's Daily Mail puts the earthquake in context: "Despite the presence of an ineffective UN peacekeeping force, gangs have continued to wreak havoc and murder throughout a country where new graves are guarded to prevent bodies being stolen for voodoo rituals. The most infamous of these killers is the Cannibal Gang, a group of sadists once led by a former prisoner with political aspirations, who was himself shot in the eyes and had his heart cut out in 2004. His gang lives on, murdering innocent people and allegedly eating their organs." Here's more on the collapse of Haiti from the Times of London last year.2:00 a.m. ET: Missionaries and Christian charities are providing some of the best first-hand reports of what's going on in Haiti. Here are some photos posted on Facebook by missionary Leann Pye in and around Jacmel, Haiti on Wednesday.1:57 a.m. ET: We mentioned in yesterday's update that a 7.0 earthquake has leveled parts of Haiti this week, but caused comparatively little damage in the San Francisco area in 1989. Economist Thomas Sowell makes a similar point in his 2003 essay about earthquakes: "Those who disdain wealth as crass materialism need to understand that wealth is one of the biggest life-saving factors in the world. As an economist in India has pointed out, '95 percent of deaths from natural hazards occur in poor countries.'"1:51 a.m. ET: The Global Orphan Project's video taken on the day of the earthquake has been watched over 670,000 times on YouTube:1:43 a.m. ET: An Australian man, Ian Rodgers, who works for the Save the Children organization, tells the Herald-Sun (Melbourne): "Around our compound multi-story houses have fallen down and slid down hills… very distressed people (are screaming and wailing)… A lot of distress and wailing … people trying to find loved ones among the rubble."1:40 a.m. ET: Real Hope for Haiti is a Christian charitable effort that operates a medical clinic, a rescue center for young children, and, at least as of this week, one of the best photo-blogs in Haiti. Here's a rather graphic post on some of the injuries treated, a report from Port-au-Prince, and another. Here's how to donate; they're trying to buy food. Another blog, called Pwoje Espwa, also published a report on the destruction. And here's a family blog from Haiti with this sad conclusion: "Thousands of people are currently trapped. To guess at a number would be like guessing at raindrops in the ocean. Precious lives hang in the balance. When pulled from the rubble there is no place to take them for care. Haiti has an almost non-existent medical care system."1:13 a.m. ET From CBS11 in Dallas comes a local report on Texans trying to help the earthquake victims. Excerpt: "Among those in Haiti, 12 North Texas doctors who as in the past, are on a mission. Rachel Faubion of Highland Park United Methodist Church says one doctor sent a text message saying all were all right. 'It was an incredible comfort that they are all together and can care for each other.' The Texas Baptist Men began loading thousands of water filters destined for Haiti.. After getting a call for help. Dick Talley of the group says, 'The first request was methods of getting clean water.'"1:05 a.m. ET: Haiti's earthquake was, apparently, "long overdue." (FEMA has been saying that for years about California's Hayward Fault too.)12:37 a.m. ET: It's a new day, meaning it's as good a time as any to survey what other networks and newspapers are reporting. The New York Times leads with this grim headline: "Haiti in Ruins; Grim Search for the Dead." And: Agony Sets In as Medics Focus on the Survivors, describing the chaos at the Doctors Without Borders compound. USA Today focuses on bodies: "Stunned Haitians stacking victims by fallen homes." So does the Los Angeles Times. The New York Post runs AP with the pithy "Haiti Hell." Fox News features a video segment on "Haiti's History of Hardship." To ABC News, it's "unimaginable devastation." The Financial Times fears that "the worst is to come." And the Wall Street Journal -- which featured a Google-out-of-China report as the lead story on Wednesday -- switches to one about despair.12:22 a.m. ET: Social Order Breakdown Watch: Looters are on the prowl, according to the Los Angeles Times: "Several thousand Haitian police and international peacekeepers poured into the streets Wednesday to clear debris, direct traffic and maintain security. But there was only so much they could do: Looters prowled through shops, then blended into crowds of desperate refugees lugging salvaged possessions. The main prison in the capital fell…"12:12 a.m. ET: Social Order Breakdown Watch: CNN's Sanjay Gupta is reporting "gunshots" and "violent behavior that seems to be emerging" after darkness fell on Wednesday evening. "Simply getting through the streets to collect the dead bodies is seemingly an impossible task," he says. Here's the video: The below updates are from Day Two of CBSNews.com's coverage of the Haitian earthquake

11:43 p.m. ET: We're running an Associated Press dispatch about how the television networks are sending their correspondents to Haiti. CNN's Anderson Cooper said he saw corpses on the sidewalk. Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams have been dispatched. CBS News' own Katie Couric arrived Port-au-Prince on Wednesday morning and, along with the rest of her team, provided this report for CBS Evening News.

11:43 p.m. ET: We're running an Associated Press dispatch about how the television networks are sending their correspondents to Haiti. CNN's Anderson Cooper said he saw corpses on the sidewalk. Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams have been dispatched. CBS News' own Katie Couric arrived Port-au-Prince on Wednesday morning and, along with the rest of her team, provided this report for CBS Evening News. If you haven't seen it, here's the video:

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11:37 p.m. ET: Catholic Relief Services representative Karel Zelenka, who is in Port-au-Prince, described the city as "covered with a plume of dust from damaged buildings… I've been in earthquakes before, but I've never felt anything like this. This was a major hit. And it was direct. It is a disaster of the century. We should be prepared for thousands and thousands of dead and injured." Zelenka said that the CRS building is intact but major buildings have collapsed; his staff spent the night outside, as did many others. Existing CRS food and relief supplies are being distributed and more are being trucked in from the Dominican Republic. Here's how to donate to the CRS.

11:30 p.m. ET: Wall Street Journal reporter Pooja Bhatia is in Haiti and posting dispatches on Twitter as "bhatiap." Some excerpts: "water's going to be a huge problem-- for us, too." And: "hardly any police on the streets. no one is providing order." And: "montana has totally collapsed. poshest hotel in haiti, where the hoi polloi are." (The Hotel Montana's Web site, which says the hotel is "closed until further notice," boasts of providing "world class service and accommodations to all our guests.") And: "word is that things will get CHO hot-- rioting and banditry already happening."

11:25 p.m. ET: The Voice of America is, of course, not an independent news agency but a mouthpiece for the U.S. federal government. But their correspondent's report on Wednesday evening seems pretty straightforward: "Our small plane landed in Port-au-Prince shortly before twilight. Getting into Haiti has been extremely difficult because there has been a lot of confusion about whether the airport here in Port-Au-Prince is operational. Several people told us that only planes carrying humanitarian aid, doctors, supplies or journalists were allowed to enter the country. From the air as we approached Port-au-Prince, we could see buildings damaged. Around some blocks of houses we could see large piles of concrete debris which we assume was gathered after the earthquake and set aside."

11:19 p.m. ET: Well, that didn't take long. Pro-life advocates already have seized on Haiti's many sorrows to attempt to score political points. The LifeNews.com site -- which describes itself as providing the "pro-life" perspective on national events -- published an article on Wednesday that references six-year old comments about Haiti from someone who ran a Florida abortion clinic at the time. The abortion clinic operator's comments to a local alternative weekly (which had nothing to do with the earthquake): High-population countries like Haiti should "stew in their own juices" because they have "denuded the whole land." LifeNews.com's take: "Haiti was once on the receiving end of hatred from an abortion practitioner."

11:01 p.m. ET: We've heard more from the White House about President Obama's meeting in the Situation Room with civilian and military workers who are coordinating the United States' relief efforts in Haiti. There's not much new there, but read on and judge for yourself: "The President received a comprehensive briefing from each of the agencies, including the State Department, USAID, DoD, JCS, SOUTHCOM, and USUN. Each leader discussed the resources that have reached Haiti, and the additional resources that are on their way. The president commended these efforts but also underscored the necessity to continue to move as swiftly and aggressively as possible, and to make it clear to the people of Haiti that life-saving support is on the way." Here's a photo.

10:32 p.m. ET: A high level U.S. government source tells CBS News that the one heavy-duty commercial pier in Haiti was destroyed in the earthquake -- along with the crane that would be used to off-load relief supplies from ships. The U.S. government is assessing the seven other ports in Haiti to see if they can accommodate relief supplies. Also, according to the source, the Haitian coast guard has taken a severe hit. The coast guard consisted of around 120 members and when the earthquake hit almost all of them were in the dining hall. Approximately 40 coast guard members were killed when the hall collapsed.

10:26 p.m. ET: For some background on Haiti, check out these sad and telling facts:
* In 1998, there were 2.4 physicians per 10,000 population and in 1996 there was 1 nurse per 10,000.
* 1.8 million people were already food insecure before the earthquake (Source: UN WFP)
* Poorest country in the western hemisphere (one of the poorest in the world).
* Four out of five Haitians live in poverty. (Source: UN)
* Annual per-capita income is $560 (more than half live on less than $1 per day.)
* Two thirds of Haitians rely on small-scale subsistence farming on tiny plots of land.
* Port au Prince is one of most densely populated cities in the world: it was built for 40,000, but 2 million live there now. The total area is 10,714 square miles (slightly smaller than Maryland).
* 2008 hurricanes killed an estimated 800 people (Source: New York Times)
* Life expectancy is 61 years (US: 78 years). (Source: UNICEF)
* Literacy rate: 52.9 percent

10:15 p.m. ET: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced on Wednesday that they would give a $500,000 monetary donation to the Red Cross to aid in the Haiti relief efforts. In addition, Walmart is sending what it describes as $100,000 worth of "pre-packaged food kits." If you want to help out, Walmart has set up a Web site to direct donations to the Red Cross.

Older updates from Day Two can be found here
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