EARTHQUAKE -- January 14, 2010 at 9:20 AM ET
Thursday's Headlines: Search for Survivors in Haiti Quake
Day two of rescue and relief efforts kicked off in Haiti Thursday morning, as governments and international aid organizations raced to deliver food, medicine and other critical supplies in the wake of Tuesday's devastating earthquake.
An Air China plane carrying a Chinese search-and-rescue team, medical workers and tons of food and medical supplies landed at Port-au-Prince airport just before dawn Thursday, according to an Associated Press report. Three French planes with aid and a mobile hospital landed in Haiti as well, while a British relief team touched down in neighboring Dominican Republic.
One U.S. military team has already arrived in Haiti to gauge the island's needs, the AP reported. The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is expected to arrive off the coast of Haiti later today, and the Navy has ordered 2,000 Marines aboard the USS Bataan to sail to the island as soon as possible.
"We have to be there for them in their hour of need," President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
Appearing on Thursday's morning talk shows, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said nations must do everything they can to help Haiti overcome its "cycle of hope and despair."
Clinton, who cut short an oversees trip to Asia, said officials know that approximately 3 million people, including about 45,000 Americans, have been affected by the magnitude 7.0 quake and that "tens of thousands, we fear, are dead." She noted, however, that it was too early to offer a reliable estimate of the casualties.
President Obama delivered new remarks on the relief effort at Thursday morning.
The International Red Cross planned to deliver 40 tons of medical supplies and body bags this morning, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meantime, Unicef had a plane en route to the island Wednesday with 4,600 water containers, more than 5 million water-purification tablets and 10,000 tents.
So far, however, massive destruction left by the quake continues to hobble the push to help survivors. Most hospitals have been either completely leveled or badly destroyed; at those that are still functional, "the living are sleeping among the dead," the BBC reports.
Partly downed communications networks have slowed operations at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. On the ground, blocked roads are hindering efforts to treat the wounded and rescue those still trapped beneath rubble.
"The relief effort has been further complicated by the fact that aid groups already in Haiti -- including the United Nations -- were directly affected by the earthquake, suffering losses in personnel and facilities," reports NPR's Pam Fessler.
"We believe at least 100 may still be trapped under the rubble. We're desperately trying to get them out. We don't know whether they're dead or alive," John Holmes, under-secretary general of the United Nations told Jim Lehrer on last night's NewsHour.
We'll have continuing coverage of the relief efforts throughout the day and on tonight's broadcast of the PBS NewsHour. And for readers looking to contribute to relief efforts, here are a few organizations collecting donations.