HAITI: Survivors are sleeping in the street
Santo Domingo airport round 2. As a US coastguard plane arrived turning out scores of injured people, we get a call to hurry onto a blades-still-turning helicopter.
The low flight in, over steep mountain sides, lakes & a turquoise sea eventually indicated to us the destruction ahead in Haiti. Houses that on first glance were still standing turned out to have roofs that had fallen through 2 or 3 floors. We finally arrived to a heroes welcome by 20 US marines at the embassy in Port-au-Prince, in stark contrast to the hundreds of scared or simply numb people lining the streets. The scale of the damage was absolutely inconceivable.
The steep hillside where the Save the Children office is based has basically disintegrated and our office stands alone at the top of the hill marooned amidst a mammoth pile of rubble. Leaving for the night we discover people bedded down sleeping all along the roadsides there are simply not enough rooms still standing to cater to the demand for a place to sleep. I’m extremely thankful for a roof over our heads, if not a bed.