CNN just ran a remarkable interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Rene Preval, the Haitian President. He said that he is homeless, that the Presidential palace was destroyed and that he doesn’t know where he’ll sleep tonight. Here’s a good brief on that at the Orlando Sentinel.
Said Preval, “I have plenty of time to look for a bed, but now I am working to rescue the people. Sleeping is not a problem.”
Reporters are saying that every building in the capital of Port-au-Prince is either heavily damaged or destroyed. CNN has several Haitian officials, including the country’s Prime Minister, saying that as many as 100,000 could be dead. Without a real governmental infrastructure, the United States or the UN will have to guide relief efforts. But in these early hours, there’s practically no emergency management. The Red Cross is out of medical supplies. It sounds like hell on Earth.
UPDATE: The White House just sent out an email:
The reports and images from Haiti of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes, and men and women carrying their injured neighbors through the streets are truly heart-wrenching. As we learn more about the extent of the devastation, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and Haitian Americans around our country who do not yet know the fate of their families and loved ones back home.
I have directed my Administration to respond with a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives. The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States Government in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and to deliver the humanitarian relief — the food, water and medicine — that Haitians will need in the coming days.
This is also a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share, and Americans have always responded to these situations with generosity of spirit. If you would like to support the urgent humanitarian effort in Haiti, I encourage you to visit our website where you can learn more about how to contribute:
Americans trying to locate family members in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at (888) 407-4747.
We will continue to stand with the people of Haiti and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.