Haiti: "Nothing on the ground, yet"

Another report -with pictures – from Ed, the missionary who is in Haiti, sharing in the suffering (thanks to his friend DeLynn, who passes it on to us…). Offered without comment:

Saturday 11:56 AM Back on line. I can’t believe it’s Saturday. This has all been one long day. We are getting more news now as the phone lines are opening up, some good news, some bad news. Some folks are still alive, some are not. Daphne just found out that her uncle did not die.

We are still having tremors but they seem to be getting smaller and fewer. Still they are enough to keep us all on edge. The population, us included, is still living outside. The main highway has thousands of people camping on it. There are tent and sheet cities everywhere.

They are starting to get the bodies out of the rubble here. Still there is an open mass grave at the cemetery and it has yet to be covered. The smell is unbearable. There are still bodies strewn around. Those alive are wandering, wailing, searching for family that they haven’t been able to contact. Hunger is setting in…. We’ve had several people come here and we’ve been giving out what we have.

Port au Prince, Photo by Ed

Reynold went to PAP yesterday. Bodies upon bodies piled in the streets. So many buildings in ruin. We lost a few people there. Enosh, Myrlande’s brother died in the collapse of their house. MANY, MANY people we know here in Ti Goave have lost their homes. We are just thankful to be alive at this point. Thankfully there hasn’t been any rain.

So far we are able to get basic foods and water. If help doesn’t get here soon, that will run out before long. We have had some helicopters fly over head but nothing on the ground yet. If anybody seeing this knows anybody coming in any official capacity, we are in the town of Petit Goave about 50 miles west of PAP.

Another thing happening now is that thousands of people are leaving PAP, many on foot, carrying what they can on their heads and they are heading out to relatives in the provinces trying to escape the Hell that PAP has become. Nearly everywhere there is a pile of garbage in PAP there are bodies as well. Words cannot begin to convey what is unfolding here.

The room Lora lived in with her family in PAP. Lora is still with us here. We know her mother and sisters got out, but don’t know where they are.

Port au Prince, by Ed

I know some of these pictures are hard to see but this is what it is and things are much worse than this. (Comment goes with second picture.)

I do want to say that I am sorry to be slow responding to e-mails right now, but I am getting a lot of e-mails, which is very encouraging, and it’s hard to respond to them all. I am truly reading them and appreciate them very much.

Also I am sharing here with the Haitian people about the vast army of people praying on our behalf. It is also VERY encouraging to them. We are not alone. We are not forgotten and Christ through us can reach out and comfort those in despair. These things bring out the best in us and tend to give us more of a heart like Jesus. COMPASSION.

Okay, I have one comment, and it is the same comment I keep making. Since the Haiti Prime Minister has temporarily signed over control of the airport to the US, we are the defacto (if pro tempore) leadership, there. Within that capacity, President Obama needs to send a pro tempore leader to Haiti, someone who can talk to these stricken people and reassure them. It has to be someone who has experience in crisis management, who knows how to lead but more importantly how to reassure, and project to the people both strength and calmness. It needs to be someone with international credibility, and someone who knows how to plan security and get infrastructures in place. To me, that sounds like Rudy Giuliani (or perhaps David Petreus, but his military standing may complicate things) and this is a crisis that demands that partisanship be put aside.

Claudia Rosett writes, the US sends help; the UN wants money.
Hot Air: Bush and Clinton Unite to Help: “a model that works.”
Instapundit: Rounds up coverage of that, plus, links to this piece, thank you, Glenn!
Kathryn Jean Lopez: also links. Thank you.

I’m back to work on another project, but Ed’s note, I thought, needed sharing. All the Haiti posts are here

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » HAITI: “Nothing On The Ground Yet.”…

  • JB

    So Ed has Internet access? In Haiti? After a very large earthquake?

    I know technology is a wonderful thing, but…


    [on his facebook page, Ed notes: I have a sat dish hooked to car batteries and that is how I am able to communicate. -admin]

  • MaxTruth

    Gen Honore – the Hero of New Orleans.

  • CDR M

    Helicopter landing zones are in the process of being established.

  • theodore

    Put partisanship aside? this President? This Administration? Anchoress, you are obviously not paying attention to the facts here in America.

    The US military will again do yeoman’s work and in the Administration’s spin will be the reason for failure despite Dear Leaders magnificent leadership—from MA.

  • http://24ahead.com/clarence-page-misleads-promotes-bad-policy-haiti-tps-immigra One plan at the end of this

    Rudy? That’s not the most hilarious thing I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely very funny. A perhaps better choice’s initials are RLH.

    Meanwhile, back on the homefront, the TPS that the Dems pushed through will make the situation worse for both countries. If he tea party types were much smarter and cared about people other than themselves they could both a) make the Dems look bad, and b) improve the long-term situation in Haiti. See a very brief outline of one plan at the end of my name’s link.

  • jeanneb

    Sounds like a job for General Honore (of Katrina fame). If I’m not mistaken, his cajun patois might even be spoken in Haiti.

    I think he’s retired, though.

  • FlightERDoc

    General Honore – he’s the one who handled Katrina. Wrote a great book, too. here

  • Parad E. Makewater

    Colin Powell

  • http://www.haiticomfort.com Ray Comfort

    Bill Clinton, the US special envoy to Haiti is busy campaigning in Massachusetts…..reporters continue to ask him why, with people still being dug out in Haiti!

    [In fairness, Bill Clinton does not need to go to Haiti - he shouldn't go; he knows nothing about disaster management. It's a job for Gen. Honore, or Gen Petraeus or Rudy. But that reminds me, wasn't Hillary supposed to go to Haiti today? Did she? admin]

  • AnneG

    Having lived overseas with the US Govt in embassy and other posts, i can tell you that the last thing anybody needs in Haiti is a President, former president of even SecState and, yes, Sec Clinton did go to Haiti, diverting security, communications, other services to her detail. Maybe they do need some leadership, but State will never go along with it. How about an emergency referendum, asking them if they want to be a state? Just an idea, AnneG in NC

  • http://theblackcordelias.wordpress.com/ Nan

    She did. I saw her on CNN.

  • Pingback: » Links to Visit – 01/16/10 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

  • http://www.theredhunter.com Tom the Redhunter

    Anchoress, I hear you about the need for us to send a leader down there. I agree with the commenters who say we should send a general in the fashion of General Honore of Katrina fame. I don’t trust the State Dept, and no one they send would be inspiring or be able to reassure the people like a no-nonsense general could.

  • http://minoroutside.blogspot.com cminor

    It wasn’t on your list of charities, thank goodness, but I think you may want to alert your readers so that they don’t throw their money away: The Smoking Gun has posted (Jan 14&15) on inapppropriate use of funds and other practices at Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti organization.

  • Mike Spehar

    As we deploy more troops there, the commander of the largest unit becomes responsible for making the decisions. Whoever it is, I imagine they are slightly busy right now.

    The Port-au-Prince airport is a pretty narrow pipeline for funneling in all the food, water, medicine, fuel, and everything else that is needed. First priority, it must be said, has to be to those supplies and personnel necessary to keep the airport operating and secure. And the uncoordinated and unplanned arrivals of aircraft carrying who knows what aid is not helping right now.

    A single airfield in a contingency or disaster is always a mess, no matter who is placed in ultimate authority.

  • Frances in earthquake country, CA

    A, I’m grateful for all the posts/links. Obama did put some partisanship aside with Bush and Clinton at the White House today launching their own relief fund. So…I begrudgingly gave a few points for that. They all did seem sincerely concerned. But, what I could not get out of my head were: all these guys spent/spend so poorly and they were reassuring us of the value of our money being spent well and, secondly, it looked like Obama needed real leadership to help him out. Sorry for that last comment. It was more of an impression than a dig. It was so odd the 3 of them standing there. Hard to put words on.
    At mass tonight all the donations in yellow envelopes were for CRS. Will be tomorrow too. Our parish has 3000 families. I’m sure faith based groups are collecting like mad for Haiti. And I’m glad. I think we all need to pray, “Divine order now for Haiti” and “The miracle working power of Jesus Christ is at work in Haiti now”.
    I was sad to see 2 aid volunteers caught in gun fire there.
    I hope this disaster not only motivates us to: stop complaining about our lives’ sufferings, give generously, pray very hard for them and the world and, to get our own homes and offices ready for any possible disaster. We will not be able to rely on any civic or federal agencies to help us. We’ll be on our own. Its time to have disaster supplies ready.

  • Mister Snitch

    “Rudy? That’s not the most hilarious thing I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely very funny.”

    What a sad little comment. Well, at least he didn’t claim it WAS “the most hilarious thing” he’d ever read. All Rudy did was show courage and leadership in a crisis, when most people (such as said commenter) were hiding under their beds.

    That’s all. No biggie. Now that he feels safe, the clown can call it ‘hilarious’.

  • Bob Kay

    Please check out the Hands Together website. Fr. Tom Hagan has been working at a mission there for quite some time, I am sure they could use some donations for their schools and programs that the Catholic Church has. I do not know the condition of the government there, but I feel much better sending my money to a Catholic run mission than who knows who.

  • Greta

    What a tradgedy going on down in Haiti. I find it amazing when the left wants to bring up Katrina and Bush at this time. Seems to me that Katrina folks had days warning to get out while Haiti had zero warning. The left kept talking about hundreds of dead people in Katrina that never really proved true and in Haiti there are bodies being loaded with heavy equipment and loaded into mass graves. The left bashed Bush for not getting to New Orleans the next day, and then say that Obama and the team should not be there, but compainging in Massachusetts because going might disrupte the relief process. I haven’t heard the name of the FEMA leadership anywhere in the news, but Bush’s guy was under mass scrutiny. Haiti has been a democrat project going back to the Clinton years but no one seems to be asking about all the money that they pumped into this country with obviously very little results. My question is if we are committing federal money to help this country, how much of it are we borrowing from China as our cupboard is bare? I would love to contribute a few hundred bucks but on social security and limited income, I cannot not do so. How can our government? Are they going to take that money away from those out of work in this country? Just asking.

  • brooklyn

    Fascinating post.

    We all still pray for the people of Haiti.

    The Democratic Partisans unethically exploited another natural disaster we call ‘Katrina’.

    Today they are silent about the US efforts, even when it is clear Hillary Clinton rushes to the scene for a personal photo op.

    This is the problem with the ugly politicization of all, that the Democrat Partisans have given us over the past few Decades. No one can trust the players in the scene, in regards to dealing with this painful tragedy.

    The pathetic exploitation of similar events in the past have left us wondering who to trust. It makes it even worse, when it is clear the rules for the Democrat Leadership is completely the opposite than those dehumanized who are not apart of the DNC Machine.

    It is all so shameful, especially seeing those who once slandered others for cheap political gain, while facing similar disasters which test one’s spirit.

  • akw

    Thank you for sharing the email on your blog. Please make sure Ed knows that not only are there millions praying for them, we are also extremely proud of the people in Haiti – their strength and their resolve. It’s so frustrating to know how much help is on the way to them, and to hear that it’s not yet there for them.

    I think the idea of someone like Gen. Honore’ helping in Haiti is a wonderful idea. I saw the general in charge of the airport and the incoming aide, and he said that they landed 100 planes today. That’s pretty incredible with one runway.

  • http://attackofthecraft.blogspot.com/ KarenL

    I would first like to offer my thoughts and prayers for the people of Haiti. They are enduring immeasurable suffering. It sounds like Haiti will need a mini Marshall Plan to rebuild. I think if you look at the leadership at U.S. Southern Command, you may find your Marshall/MacArthur. I would also think Colin Powell would be a good choice to lead a rebuilding effort with the US/UN. Considering is heritage, as well as, military and State Department expertise, he would be well-suited for such a mission.

  • RRmike

    Poor Haiti, it has been victimized by fortune since its inception.
    That said getting things organized on the ground is not something that will happen overnight especially in a country with an infrastucture that rivals the poorest of African countries.
    With multiple nations sending aid, all of which claim priority, things are going to get messy.
    A 1915 style US Military solution might work but the outcry from Turtle Beach would be deafning.
    We have logistic specialists on the ground and aboard ship who will sort this out, we need to support them and pray for the Haitians.

  • DaveW

    MaxTruth has it upthread. Gen. Honore is the obvious choice.

    We need a military commander on the ground. Not because we need someone to tell people which way to shoot – because we need someone that understands logistics on a massive scale and who can implement decisions by fiat, on the spot. The US Military is the only organization with the resources, experience and capability to handle this sort of disaster.

  • Jaime

    If you were living in Haiti and connected to a Dominican Republic network (Verizon, Orange, and several others) chances are you never lost communications with the external world. Haiti is showing the world that Katrina was just one example of man fighting nature. There is little one can do to rapidly put together where nature hit. While the world has responded rapidly to the Haitian tragedy we also need a touch of humility while dealing with nature… Haiti would put the response to Katrina in its proper context!

  • Pingback: The Living Psalm of Haiti » The Anchoress | A First Things Blog

  • Pingback: Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » The Haiti special edition of the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Pingback: The Anchoress | A First Things Blog