In Haiti, a Somewhat Terrible Normalcy

Twelve days after the catastrophic 7.1 earthquake ravaged Haiti, an odd sense of normalcy is settling in. Journalists, who raced in to cover the disaster now are packing up and drifting away.

But, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker, if the world is starting to look away, Haitians don't have that luxury. They are left inhabiting a landscape in ruins - a hellscape, actually.

People here had little materially to begin with. Now that meager world has caved in.

We found one woman digging through her collapsed apartment for anything she could salvage. She came up empty-handed.

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Driving through Port-au-Prince, we saw people jostling for water from a broken main - filling jugs, washing off. Boys took an impromptu shower.

Darling Sidea said she knows the water is dirty. "My children are getting diarrhea," she said through an interpreter, "but what other choice do I have?"

The embarrassing logjam that delayed the massive influx of international aid getting to the people - blamed on logistics, multi-national red tape and fractured infrastructure - is beginning to break.

A new control tower begins operating today. Now 130 flights can land a day, instead of 30.

Food and aid are getting out, slowly. On a hillside above downtown, we found the 82nd Airborne from Ft. Bragg, N.C., feeding a tent city approaching 50,000 … and growing. People hear of it by word of mouth, or like Nadia Franscois who told us, "I've been watching the helicopter to see where it was going to land at."

But down the hill, thousands of people camping out on the lawn of the Prime Minister's residence have gotten nothing, except water from the Red Cross.

When you see destruction of this magnitude, it becomes clear that all the help in the world won't bring recovery to Haiti any time soon. It'll take years to bring this country back to what it was - and what it was was desperate.

Many parts of Port-au-Prince looked quake-damaged before the earthquake. That's why so many Haitians seem desperate to leave. At the Immigration office this week, the line stretched down the block with people anxious to get their passports in order.

But even escape is difficult. We met Harry Soulouque and his family waiting for a bus to the countryside. They'd spent their last bit of money on a last bit of food. They had heard the government was offering free rides out of the capital; it wasn't true. They now have no house, no money, no food, no ride.

"All we have is God," he said.

That's why Haitians celebrate each survivor pulled from the wreckage. Survivors were saved even yesterday after the government declared an end to official search-and-rescue. Twenty-one year old Emanuel Buteau was saved after 10 days under his collapsed apartment. He spoke to us through an interpreter while recovering at a field hospital.

"It's a big miracle," he said.

Exactly what Haiti needs.