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Haiti in Ruins

Aired January 13, 2010 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back. We are live in Port-au-Prince. We're going to be live all through this hour.

A very strange situation is developing here with Matt Marek from the American Red Cross. In the park, the public park behind us, where hundreds of people have been sleeping and camping out since this earthquake struck because they have no place else to go.

All of a sudden, about ten minutes ago, perhaps, some people just started to run and some people started yelling water. We thought initially was that they thought water was being handed out. Now we are hearing people saying that there is some sort of a flood.

But again, Matt, A, no evidence of that and most of the people who are saying that haven't actually seen any water, so this in all likelihood is some sort of a rumor that has just spread amongst very scared people. Because now people look, they are moving back in the other direction.

MATT MAREK, AMERICAN RED CROSS: I think what everyone has faced over the last 24 hours they have reason to panic at the slightest, you know, threat. And I think that's what we are seeing. Obviously, we talk to people -- few people who say they haven't seen water but they heard people farther below them yelling "water".

We also see a lot of trucks coming up, too. I'm assuming that there have a lot of cars downtown that are parked also. There is a huge population down in the Central Ville (ph) downtown so there's plenty of people camping out in their own vehicles and stuff, but they are looking for higher ground at this point too, it seems.

COOPER: My sense is that this fear is passing because a large number of people dropped their possessions as they were running in this direction. Now you have a lot of people walking sort of calmer in this direction and picking up other people's possessions that were left behind.

MAREK: That appears to be what yes, what I'm seeing, too. And we also notice there's a lot of people that have stopped running this way...

COOPER: Right.

MAREK: ... so we've seen a lot of the group that took off in that direction coming back but also a lot of the people have stopped coming back. COOPER: And that is the fear in the coming days as fewer people, as aid is trickling in but not fast enough for a lot of the people who are suffering right now, that fear will turn to anger and can turn to panic.

I want to show you some of what we saw on the streets today in Port-au-Prince because what is happening out there is truly -- it is historic and it is horrible and it is a tragedy, the scale of which in this country we have not seen in for a long, long time. Many of the people here, it's the worst thing they have seen in their entire lives.

I want to warn you, some of what we saw on the street today was extraordinarily graphic. But we want to show you what is really happening out there. The Haitian people deserve to have their stories told. They want the world to know what they are going through.

So over the next hour, we are going to take with you our correspondents out into the streets of Haiti and show you what we saw today and what the Haitian people are dealing with.

Here is some of what I saw. And again, some of the images you're going to see are very graphic.


COOPER: For many trapped in rubble of downtown Port-au-Prince the struggle to live continues.

We've heard there is maybe somebody who is alive buried in there. People on the streets say there's a 15-year-old who's buried alive there and that they're talking. But we're going to go and try and see if that is the case and if there's anything we can do but the street I've never seen anything like this.

Look at this, this is just -- it is just complete devastation. This is downtown Port-au-Prince. Just a few blocks from the presidential palace, about a block from the National Cathedral, which itself is pretty much destroyed.

Atop a pile of rubble that used to be a building we find a small group of men who've been digging here for more than five hours to rescue a teenage girl.

Her feet are the only part of her still visible. A 13-year-old girl trapped here. Her name is Bea (ph) she is clearly alive. You can hear her crying out. You can see two of her feet at this point. They've been able to...

She's clearly in pain. They discovered her early this morning. It's now a little past 12. And they are still digging.

They are not clear how they are going to get her out. They only have this one shovel. They don't have any heavy earth-moving equipment. They have to be careful with what they are moving. They are afraid to move this big slab that seems to be on top of her. That others stones -- other pieces of cement could fall and crush her.

So, they are actually kind of arguing over what to do next. But they're definitely going to pull her out.

Bea's brother can do nothing. He just stands by listening to his sister's cries. This man says his father is also trapped in the building, but is already dead.

"I don't have a father anymore," he cries, "Gone. Had I been in the house, I wouldn't be here anymore either."

Worried more aftershocks may come and destroy the building even more, Bea's family and friends work frantically. Finally, after being trapped for more than 18 hours, the men make a small hole and pull Bea out. She is alive. She is finally free.

And did you think you would come out alive?

"I felt that I would live," she says. "I wasn't scared, I wasn't scared of anything. People were dying below me. I could hear them, but I wasn't scared. My heart didn't skip a beat. I heard them crying," she says. "I heard an old lady crying, 'God, I'm dying' last night. I heard my ant running and a big block fell on her."

Bea's aunt is dead. She and three others have been covered in cloths and laid out on the street. Bea's uncle wants me to see her face.

This man has lost four family members. He just showed me his wife's body, which is under a shroud and he is now worried about another family member who is an American. And he believes she is trapped inside that building as well and he's pretty sure she's dead.

There's no telling how long it will be before he knows for sure just how many people he has lost.

This is just one building. This is just one block. The suffering here has just begun.


COOPER: I want to give you a sense of a couple of things, first of all, that young woman, believed she broke her leg and a family member believes that as well but they didn't take her to the hospital or clinic because frankly, those facilities are overwhelmed. And people with broken legs have been waiting since the earthquake struck, sitting outside clinics.

And in fact we talked to Dr. Sanjay Gupta earlier. He said -- actually it was Ivan Watson we talked to earlier who went to a clinic, who said there was a woman whose foot had been ripped off, who had just been sitting outside a clinic for about 18 hours at that point and still hasn't been treated.

So there's so much need. A broken leg is -- it's horrible to say -- but it's pretty low on the scale of things that doctors are immediately going to treat.

We've just witnessed, I also just want to show you two images of the Presidential Palace. It really gives you a sense of some of the destruction, some core government elements here.

Take a look at the presidential palace, the national palace before the earthquake struck and now take a look at it after. The whole front section really seems to have collapsed in and on itself.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed the President, Rene Preval earlier in the day, who said he's going to be sleeping at the airport tonight. That palace simply at this point is not safe.

I want to introduce to you my guest. Your name is...


COOPER: Ok. And you're a radio and TV host?

PEDRE: Yes, I'm a radio and TV host. I was the one who was Skyping yesterday.

COOPER: Yes, right, yes, yes. And that seems like a lifetime ago to be honest.

PEDRE: Yes definitely.

COOPER: And even more for you it must. What we've just witnessed out here and for our viewers who are just joining us, hundreds of people who have been camped out in this park all of a sudden just started running. And it was more than a few hundred, probably more than just sort of camping out, it looked like people coming from other parts of the city dropping their possessions running, saying "water". There was a fear that was sort of a flood.


COOPER: You say this happened last night as well?

PEDRE: Yes, that happened last night behind the national palace. Because that's a trick people want...

COOPER: It's a trick?

PEDRE: Yes. People want to steal other people's stuff. Just say that something is happening, like there's a tsunami or there's another earthquake or there's someone who...

COOPER: And it works because there's so much fear out there.

PEDRE: Of course, because the thing is at this time -- people are sleeping, everybody was sleeping. And the thing is when you come from that earthquake and you heard that there's tsunami, the first thing to do is just pack your stuff...

COOPER: Definitely. PEDRE: ... and go.

COOPER: But also, you know, I think what a lot of people who don't -- who are watching us around the world don't understand is that for them this was something that just happened yesterday but for people here in Port-au-Prince this is still happening. I mean, there are still aftershocks and quite significant ones...

PEDRE: Of course.

COOPER: ... throughout the day. And so, there is still that fear that there are still could be something terrible about to happen.

PEDRE: The homeless, the helpless, so anything can afraid them...


PEDRE: ... it's a panic, it's really a big chaos right now.

COOPER: Yes, how are you doing? How is your family doing?

PEDRE: My family is fine. My family is fine. I didn't hear from my brother for like 12 hours. He called me this morning and he is fine.

COOPER: Does it frustrate you to not see Haitian government troops out on the streets or police or bulldozers or do -- have the Haitian people just come...


COOPER: ... to expect that their government is not going to be there for them?

PEDRE: I was waiting for that question. Because I think that the government can be a victim of disaster, as us. I think the government should take the lead and bring hope to people. Because the thing is, you can stay and notice, as we do. And I think that the government should give us these -- these words of hope and put a hope on our face. Because now, with this disaster, I was in the middle of the streets this afternoon and I see what's happening. And I think that it's going to take, like, years to get back on track.

COOPER: Have you seen, ever seen anything like this in Port-au- Prince?

PEDRE: No, no, no.

And the important thing is that, you know, with the hurricane in the past years that only hit the countryside. Like (INAUDIBLE). Now it's the first time that the capital...

COOPER: The capital.

PEDRE: ... is hit and you see that we are not able to give a quicker response. And even though the Red Cross or other international organizations that's working here...

COOPER: Right.

PEDRE: ... it's really impossible for them, too.

COOPER: And there's a lot of rumors floating out there.

PEDRE: Of course, there's a lot of rumors, there's people --- people think that we will still have aftershock until Friday. People think that we can be hit sometime maybe next month or something.

COOPER: And that rumor can quickly cause panic and that can lead to more loss of life.

I just want to show you what Gary Tuchman -- Gary was just down on the street, talking to people who are in the midst of this sort of this panic. Here's what Gary saw.

A lot of people running --- a lot of people running, very chaotic situation but now I can say it's calmed down, a lot of the people are kind of returned to the park they are sitting around and no doubt regretting dropping their possessions...

PEDRE: Right.

COOPER: ... because those possessions have been picked up by other people.

PEDRE: Of course, definitely. That was the point of that.


PEDRE: And you can see that when they're warning, they are losing their stuff too...


PEDRE: ... you know, that's -- make them in a very bad -- put them in a very bad situation right now.

COOPER: I appreciate you coming in and talking us to. We'd love to talk to you in the days ahead. Thank you very much. Stay safe.

PEDRE: Yes, thanks so much.

COOPER: Our coverage continues all the way to the midnight hour here, a lot going on, as you've seen. Things can change very quickly here. We're going to bringing you what our correspondents have seen all throughout the day here, extraordinary stories. We'll bring them to you live ahead.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: And welcome back. The Haitian police have actually just gone down the street telling people to calm down, that nothing is true, that there is no tsunami, that there is no flooding and to try to restore order. It is a very welcome relief to see the Haitian police there on the streets responding to a real fear that is in the hearts of a lot of people right now.

Chris Lawrence is down on the street, he's on a beeper line. Chris, what have you been seeing? It's an odd sight and a scary one to see that big of a crowd suddenly so mobilized.

We just lost -- lost the beeper. We'll try to check in with Chris.

But let's take a look at what Dr. Sanjay Gupta saw on the streets of Port-au-Prince earlier today.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, right here in downtown Port-au-Prince is where we see all of the ramifications of what we've been talking about for the last day. Buildings completely crumbled. And as you might imagine, lots of people devastated and have died as a result of that.

I mean there are just bodies lying in the streets. This is what people have been talking about. I did not think that I would see what I am showing you right now. It's a dead body right here, there. And then if you look over here, it gets even worse than maybe you could possibly imagine; 25 more bodies, people standing around feeling completely helpless, perhaps hopeless as well.

I have never, as a doctor, as a journalist, I have traveled around the world and I've never seen anything quite like this. It's just astonishing.


COOPER: It's unbelievable what is happening there. We've actually just seen a great sight, which was four truckloads...

GUPTA: Right.

COOPER: ... you said they are Norwegians?

GUPTA: Yes, we saw them at the airport, Anderson, they are Norwegian rubble hunters, they basically come in with some pretty big machines.

COOPER: Search and rescue?

GUPTA: Yes and you saw, they're all geared up, some of the biggest machines we saw so far to try and clear some of the rubble.

COOPER: Yes, they look like they are going to start working tonight almost. I mean and this is a battle of --- we're talking minutes and hours can make all the difference. GUPTA: There's no question about it and that was something we saw even at the airport. I mean, there was a sense of urgency; people running off the planes, getting into those trucks pretty quickly and getting out of there because they realized that some of these people who were trapped have exactly that amount of time.

COOPER: And there are groups. I mean, we just talked to a representative of the American Red Cross, there's U.S. State Department folks here. A big embassy here, a lot of folks working very hard to try to coordinate all these troops but at this point it is very difficult. Communications are down; just getting information passed is hard.

GUPTA: I can tell you just from that one anecdotal experience, the Norwegians who came in right around the same time we did, really had no particular mission other than to get in a truck, go out there and find people who were trapped.


GUPTA: No one was telling them specifically they knew...

COOPER: Where to go...

GUPTA: Where to go, who was already where, where the worst areas were, although it becomes quite obvious just driving around as you know.

COOPER: Yes and that's basically what we do as well. We arrived here and just started driving around. And everyone -- I mean, the sad and horrible thing, is anywhere you go in our case, you find a story for them anywhere they go there is going to be, you know, rubble to search through and people to find.

GUPTA: Yes and you know what's so remarkable, even as we have been standing here talking and being here today, hearing the aftershocks, seeing people screaming through the streets, every -- posttraumatic stress disorder is a real thing and it can occur very quickly.

Every single occurrence is a reminder and a very frightening one at that that something else could happen. There are the people that are in the park because they are frightened to go back to their homes. There was concern about water, as you just mentioned, people running through the street. I don't know how that ends or exactly...

COOPER: Right.

GUPTA: ... how long it takes for that to stop.


And again, I'm just -- what for me the education here over the last half an hour or however was long ago that this started is just how quickly one rumor, in this case, a manipulative rumor to try to steal goods but one rumor can just spread to the point where you have, you know, hundreds, if not more, people running down the streets, dropping their most precious possessions.

GUPTA: That's how frightened they were. They have --- they may have a bowl left in which to eat and that's their only possession. They got thrown on the street. A kid's blanket, toys got thrown on the street. They will leave everything behind for fear of this one rumor in this case the fear of water I guess but an unfounded one.

COOPER: Do you know what you're going to do tomorrow or is it just kind of, see where the day takes you?

GUPTA: Yes, you asked me earlier, Anderson what's next medically for a lot of people here and that's the question I want to try and answer to go to some of these hospitals, some of the ones that are still working, and how are they going to continue to work and some of the ones that have been completely devastated, do they have a chance of being able to help people?

I'm really curious about this population of patients that we call salvageable patients. They are not dead but they're really not quite alive either in the sense that they are in this gray area. They have to be cared for and quickly. I really want to find the answer to your question, what happens to them next.

COOPER: Yes, all right. Well, we'll be following you, Dr. Gupta, thanks very much. Stay safe out there.

It is again, it is a very fluid situation and one that can change very quickly indeed. And everyone who was here reporting has to be very well aware of that.

Our coverage continues. We're going to talk to former President Bill Clinton in this hour. We're going to talk to Gary Tuchman, Chris Lawrence about what just happened down on the street and all our correspondents who have been doing a remarkable job and all our camera teams and producers who have really been working around-the-clock to try to tell you what the Haitian people are going through, to tell you their stories.

We'll be right back.



COOPER: At this point they're really not able to collect a lot of the bodies that they find. So people will move a body off to the side of the road. There's a woman who's lying dead, just covered there. A couple of feet behind and cordoned off an area around her using concrete blocks but there's no telling how long she's just going to be laying there.


COOPER: One of the things you realize when you're in a place like this on a story like this, on a tragic event like this that you've got kind of, you don't really see the big picture. I can tell you what's -- what happened in downtown Port-au-Prince today. But after I left the airport I wasn't aware of what was coming in or what kind of flights were coming in there's not a central clearing house of information. So we try to have our correspondents fan out as much as possible.

But we wanted Tom Foreman back in the United States to kind of give us the macro look, where this earthquake struck and what kind of U.S. relief efforts are on the way -- Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Anderson, we're getting a very big picture right now. In fact, our first satellite images of the damage.

This is the before picture from Digital Globe and Google Earth. I want you to watch as we slide this apart to this image now from Geo- Eye. You can see how the Presidential Palace just cracked right in half.

And as we move out across the city, you can see block after block after block where these buildings just collapsed into the road. This image from Geo-Eye and others like it will prove very, very valuable because there's a big job happening right now.

Over the next 24 hours, Anderson, I think what people have to look at very closely, going to be the airport which is right up here and the harbor out here. And I'm going to tell you why.

If we bring this up for a moment I'll show you that essentially what they have now is an order of action that has to be followed right now. They have to clear these roads and assess the damages. They have to launch these search and rescue teams throughout the city. They have to re-establish hospitals and aid centers and open supply lines. And that must happen across this whole big picture we just looked at here.

And when we talk about re-opening the roads, again, difficult to see when you're on top of it. From the wide picture you can see it. If we bring up the roads here, many of the major arteries that people have to travel on throughout here are blocked in some fashion.

Anderson, our other correspondents have been showing you all evening long, some of these roads may be blocked dozens of times. So the heavy equipment is going to have to hit the roads. The military is coming in here, they're going to try to control the airport, get this all under control and stage much of the assault on this problem from there and also from out here.

Gradually on the ground with heavy equipment they will try to turn some of those red roads into green roads as they reach deeper into the population to try to help out all these people.

President Obama he said he wants this to be the main focus for the next three days, the search and rescue thing. Getting these teams out there, they'll try to establish operational centers and look at the issue of refugees. So the problem will be though, even as you clear on the ground, beyond this you're still going to have tremendous numbers of people way out here with all sorts of damage, where the ground approach will simply not be able to go far enough.

That's where again, you're going to see in the next few days, out here in the harbor, you'll see more of a military presence, as we will have an aircraft carrier there. There will be coast guard helicopters, heavy lift helicopters, these sorts of things.

They will be able to stage from here, from this area and from the airport, fly right over the roads they are able to open up and the closed roads to get to these very distant areas where they can drop off supplies. They can also pull out the people who are in the deepest amount of trouble. That's one way they're going to try to stabilize this.

Over the next few days, you're going to see a tremendous effort aimed at just this: controlling the airport, controlling the harbor, beginning to open roads and establishing supply lines so all the things that are needed back here can get to the people they need Anderson. And it will be something you'll see a block at a time where you are.

Here, we'll be trying to keep track of the overall picture of how they're opening it and which parts of the city are getting help and when others can expect it -- Anderson.

COOPER: That will be quite a sight when those choppers start landing. I remember in the port in Port-au-Prince back in 1994 when the U.S. was going to be returning Jean-Bertrand Aristide into power, Raul Cedras, the dictator -- the military dictator had fled on a night flight. I was at the airport when he left and I was at the port the next day when U.S. forces started to land. And the Haitian people there came out to greet them with a lot of excitement.

There'll be a lot of excitement when they start to see relief in large-scale landing here in the coming days. We'll certainly be bringing that to you in our continuing coverage.

I want to bring you an interview that Jessica Yellin did. You know there's a lot of -- there's tens of thousands of Americans here in Haiti and huge Haitian-American communities all across the United States. There's a very big one in Brooklyn, and there's a radio station there where a man by the name of Ricot Dupuy who broadcasts on that station is trying to help coordinate and connect Haitian- Americans with their relatives and their loved ones here at home. Here is Jessica's interview with him.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Ricot Dupuy, thank you for being with us tonight. There are just so many people with loved ones in Haiti worried about how they are doing tonight. We know, first of all, that you asked listeners for photos of loved ones who are missing in Haiti. We are going to show those photos in hopes that we can help connect people who are here in the U.S. with anyone who might have information on the ground about their loved ones. Those will be running while I ask you what are you hearing now from Haitian-Americans who have been calling into your show about their relatives back home?

RICOT DUPUY, RADIO SOLEIL D'HAITI: Well, it's been the same thing the whole day. People that --- they can't believe what they, what they, what they are living -- experiencing right now. They'll give the world to be able to connect to loved ones in Haiti in a signal that would assure them that they are alive.

One gentleman was under the rubbles at the Hotel Montana in Port- au-Prince, really the only hotel of international standard in Haiti. From there he called a family member or a friend, I believe a family member in Port-au-Prince, which family member contacted another family member in New York which family member in New York called us at the station and telling us that -- and I will give you his name.

His name is Fred. He is currently under the rubbles. He is crying out for help. Please asking us, Radio Soleil, to do whatever we can to send rescuers to him.

The other is Jean Oliver Neptune, again, on the rubbles. But that one called directly from his cell phone to New York to a family member, which family member call us and tell us that Jean Oliver Neptune is crying out for help under the debris and rubbles. He is at 8 Mont Jolie Street in Port-au-Prince. Please send rescue now.

YELLIN: There are so many people today also in that position worried about their loved ones.

We were, in fact, all horrified when we heard one estimate of the death toll from Haiti's Prime Minister who guessed that it might be in the hundreds of thousands.

What's been the reaction from your listeners? Has anybody even been able to grasp the enormity of this loss yet?

DUPUY: I should tell you, Jessica that this thing took about two days to sink in. In my view, many people did not realize what was coming to them yesterday, but it has started to sink in. They are really feeling and realizing the full brutality of the fury of this earthquake and what it has done to our country.

They still can't believe what they are hearing. Some of them have entertained all kinds of thoughts, why us? Why Haiti? Is it malediction? Some of them would go that far.

But then again, we have to tell them, please, leave it in the hands of the Almighty. He must have a plan. They didn't do what he judged is necessary.

YELLIN: Ricot Dupuy, thank you so much for your time. DUPUY: Thank you for having me.

YELLIN: Anderson, so many people here worried about their missing loved ones there in Haiti.

And it's just another sign again of the desperation there where you are that somebody who was actually trapped in the rubble in Haiti was calling the U.S. to see if they could get help to them there. And I just want to point out to our viewers to let them know we have -- are calling the state department, passing on the location of that person to see if it is possible to actually get help to him.

COOPER: Amazing they were able to get a call out. It's not an easy thing. Even if you have a satellite phone, it can be difficult.

Jessica, I know you're following other news tonight, what else is going on in the world? You have a "360 Bulletin".

YELLIN: Yes. Hard to think of other news right now but there is important news elsewhere.

U.S. officials reporting a new and credible threat against the U.S. by al Qaeda in Yemen; two senior officials today are telling CNN that the U.S. is closely monitoring the threat against the homeland and that the level of concern is quote, "measurable". It is believed to involve aviation already under heightened security following the attempted Christmas day bombing.

Meantime, a leader of al Qaeda in Yemen was killed today. Yemeni officials say he was gunned down during a clash with security forces.

Top bank executives today defended themselves before Congress. The CEOs apologized for risky behavior but they insisted they had didn't realize the severity of the crisis they faced. These hearings are part of the year-long government inquiry into what caused last year's financial collapse.

And Yahoo! Today joined forces with Google to denounce China's alleged attacks on the company's infrastructure. Google has accused China of trying to infiltrate its network to spy on human rights workers. The online giant says the attack, as well as government censorship rules could force it to shut down its Chinese operation.

And in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI today met privately with his Christmas day attacker. The Pope offered forgiveness to the woman who jumped a barrier and tackled the 82-year-old late last month detained by Vatican police and later taken to a mental institution. The woman today apologized for that incident. It was actually her second attempt on the pope in two years -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wow, bizarre.

Jessica, appreciate that and thanks very much for that interview.

Our coverage continues here. We're going to talk to Gary Tuchman and Chris Lawrence about what they have been seeing out there today. What they plan on doing tomorrow.

This is a fast-moving story. We're trying to stay on top of it every second. Our coverage continues in just a moment.



COOPER: Sometimes you drive along streets and it doesn't look like there's much damage. Then all of a sudden you come up on a structure like that which is just completely destroyed.


COOPER: That's a minor destruction compared to stuff we saw later in the day. We shot that just soon after we arrived.

I just want to remind our viewers who are maybe just tuning in; there is virtually no electricity in Port-au-Prince. You look outside it is virtually all dark. There is one street light I think that has been brought in to just illuminate an area but we are operating on generators. So, that's why it's complete darkness behind us.

So while you hear a lot of people calling out each other's names and maybe kind of yelling out, you are not seeing them because, frankly, there are just no lights around and it does add to sort of this eerie atmosphere that is developing.

You guys were out on the streets when that mass pandemonium began, people running, thinking there was some sort of tsunami. Turned out we believe that it was a trick to get people to drop their possessions so others could then steal their possessions but it is a sign of just how fearful it is.

And the people now are yelling each other's names because families and friends have been separated and they're all trying to find each other now in the darkness.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really just startling for all of us staying up here because it was so quiet, people trying to go to sleep for the night, but when you think about it maybe not that surprising because these people behind us, Anderson, are so vulnerable. They're sleeping in this park today because either they lost their homes, they lost their loved ones or they're afraid to go in their homes because of the aftershocks. It's like yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theater.

The way I look at it -- what I compare it to is like the "10 Commandments" movie, with Charlton Heston, when God inflicted the ten plagues and people started panicking. A lot of these people believe -- it's a very religious society -- and a lot of people here believe this earthquake was a plague and that maybe a tsunami was the second plague.

COOPER: We have heard a lot of people praying, singing, we heard -- we're told the same thing happened last night. Faith is still very strong here. The national cathedral though is all but decimated.

Chris, what surprised you most about what you saw here today?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I think, well, you just mentioned it. Driving up here, we probably passed, what, maybe three or four prayer groups. We're even driving by, you could hear them singing and hear them praying from well off in someone's backyard.

And then just a few minutes ago we got outside and we ran for about four blocks with the crowd. I think I got a sense of what it must have been like for people when the actual earthquake hit because there was just that terror, with people screaming "Sally, Yvette," you know, trying to find their loved ones and not know what is going on.

We asked one woman as we were running with her, we said why are you running? And she said, "Someone said the water's coming up, someone said the water is coming up," but she had never actually seen the water. She heard someone say it.

And I think the thing that strikes me now about seeing this is families maybe who had taken all day to finally get back together, now you see they're split up again and it's dark outside and it maybe hard to find each other tonight.

COOPER: And it happens just like that. As you said, I mean faith is strong in this country. I don't think a lot of people who haven't been here can understand the level of poverty here. You all by now know this is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

If you go to city so late even in good times, you see women on the street selling what they call mud cakes, literally cakes made with mud that have no nutritional value but mothers feed it to their kids because it fills their kids' stomachs. Now even those families are finding themselves even more destitute.

TUCHMAN: These people have so little in the best of times and when we, Chris and I and you drove around these neighborhoods today and stopped in these blocks -- how do you have less than nothing? I mean literally, so many of these people behind us right now, now have less than nothing.

COOPER: Yes. There's a lot of needs and a lot of good people opening up their wallets and their hearts to try to help people.

You can go to our Web site on to look for how you can help; also the Impact Your World Web site at CNN, at the homepage.

We are going to be talking about relief efforts. Do you guys know what you are going to do tomorrow?

TUCHMAN: We are going to go out and see the authorities, the police, the fire officials perhaps from other countries are going out to help these people because, as we have talked about for the last hour and 40 minutes, we saw very little help today. COOPER: I was hugely relieved to see four big truck loads. I think Sanjay said they were Norwegian search and rescue workers. Hopefully we're going to see a lot more of that in the coming days.

LAWRENCE: We know the U.S. Military is massing up. We know there is a contingent of Marines that could be on the way in the next few days but I spoke with the chief of police for the nation of Haiti and he told us flat out on the air, we don't have the resources. You know, he said the penitentiary was damaged. You talked about that.

COOPER: Prisoners escaped.

LAWRENCE: Prisoners escaped.

We don't have the resources to scour the area and try to find these prisoners. They are dangerous men who are out there now and he said -- he made a plea on air to say if there are any law enforcement military personnel who can come help us out, we can sure use it.

TUCHMAN: Roll back the clock four and a half years ago what deja vu. We were standing talking about the lack of help in the United States of America for the victims of Katrina. So obviously, it's a different situation but it's happened in the United States, too.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to have a lot more ahead. We're going to talk to Ivan Watson and some of our other correspondents who again -- who have been out there all day long, up all night. And we are going to continue this for days to come because we want to bring you this story, incredible things that are happening here right now.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Some of the most disturbing things I heard today from our correspondent, Ivan Watson who went to various clinics. And some of the thing he is saw there were just incredibly disturbing. You really get a sense in watching his story -- and we're going to show it to you in a moment. I want to warn you, some of the images are extraordinarily graphic.

But we think that they're worthwhile showing. We think that they're important that you see the reality of what is happening to untold numbers of people here.

So, that's why we are showing you this piece. But again there are a lot of people who have been waiting for days -- well, more than 24 hours at this point for medical care, who are literally camped outside clinics, camped outside a hospital and they haven't had help because, at this point, they -- the system is just overwhelmed.

Here's what Ivan Watson saw.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the reality of the situation here in Port-au-Prince. This is a small medical clinic. There are so many patients, so many victims of this earthquake, that they are treating them in the halls and the entryway of the clinic.

And look here, we have wounded people waiting for treatment right now. Let's take a look. This woman right here.


WATSON: This is Amelika. She says that her leg is broken and -- and she has been here since last night, waiting for treatment.

And she is not the only one. If we come and take a look over here, there are more wounded people and even the corpse of a small child who could not get treatment. And it is just overwhelming to see over here, the bodies of at least 13 people stacked up on the sidewalk right outside.

And we have seen these images elsewhere in this overwhelmed city right now. Doctors are telling me they don't have enough medicine to treat these patients. They don't have enough gas to run the generators, to run the medical machines to treat these patients.

And the people of Port-au-Prince are out in the streets, not in their homes, for fear that they, too, could become victims of this earthquake if the aftershocks bring down what's left of their homes.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Port-au-Prince in Haiti.


COOPER: And Ivan Watson joins me now along with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Ivan, one of the things that you said in the last hour was really -- I have been thinking about really nonstop since then is, you saw a woman outside that clinic whose foot had been ripped off who hadn't received any medical attention.

WATSON: None whatsoever; she was laying on the sidewalk. Her foot was a stump, bleeding. And there was an infant dead child laying right next to her. And she spoke with me and said, "I have been here since last night."

I just don't have words for that.

COOPER: How does somebody -- how does that happen to somebody and you survive without medical care? I mean...

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of these people aren't surviving and the types of injuries that people -- because they didn't get care, imagine the types of people who did actually get care. Even more severe than what we were even able to see.

You know, I'm a little bit -- you know, it is funny just listening to us for the last couple of hours, what we have seen and how we are talking about it. It is disturbing. I mean I've never had these conversations about talking about bodies like this but that's what people -- as you said, that's the reality here.

COOPER: Well, one of the things I found during Hurricane Katrina, which I felt bad about after several days is just referring to these people who are dead as bodies. And there is this thing where after a while -- today, I just found myself stop counting. I didn't stop noticing, because I do think it's important that you look and see what is happening but just kind of stop counting. And there's just -- there's too much. There is just too much.

WATSON: I think the biggest shock when you -- when it does start to dull in your mind a little bit, the brutality of this, is when you go by and you see that little body on the sidewalk.

COOPER: Yes. Yes.

WATSON: And you realize that this society's been hit so hard in the last 36 hours, that nobody claimed that little child.


WATSON: Who probably wasn't out on the street by themselves when the earthquake hit.

COOPER: Yes. And people have nowhere to go with their loved ones who have perished. They have nowhere to take them at this point, or at least not the ability to take them. I mean, I saw people -- I saw one man today carrying a coffin over his head through a crowd. I saw another man with a wheelbarrow with an old woman in it, just wheeling her through the crowd.

GUPTA: It makes you wonder when you have no options, when you have no resources and no one's coming to help, what do you do? How do you somehow honor the memory of your loved one? How do you cherish them in some way? What do you do?

I mean, it's often a rhetorical question. We never actually get to see it play out in real time, you know, in front of our own eyes.

COOPER: And the Haitian people who are a long-suffering people but extraordinarily strong people have survived an awful lot. But to put a people who, in many cases, have very little to begin with through something like this, it just seems just particularly horrific.

And yet, there is this strength there is this resilience. There is this desire to dig through the rubble for however many hours it takes with your bare hands in some case to try to find somebody. In some cases, people they don't even know.

WATSON: We do also have to point out that there are cracks in society as well. I saw the first signs of looting today, as people were clearing rubble, crowds of teenagers, young people, adults, going into the ruins of old shops and destroyed shops and pulling out loot. And one fear is that could get worse as people get more desperate in the days to come.

COOPER: Certainly the security situation is a big concern there with the prison having been apparently largely destroyed, or at least partially destroyed, a number of prisoners escaped. And the police force really not up to -- or able to, at this point stretched too thin to actually try to pursue those prisoners.

GUPTA: Yes. And when we drove around, and you did this as well -- I sort of expected that people would be mobbing our cars or giving us a bad time as we're trying to get through the streets. There was really none of that.

Then Ivan and I were actually upstairs a few hours ago and we heard gunshots for the first time. And I thought to myself, people are starting to boil over a little bit at this point. It is starting to happen.

COOPER: Let's hope relief gets here. We've already seen the beginnings of it. Let's hope tomorrow's a new day.

Our coverage continues. We'll be right back after a moment.


COOPER: And we're back with Matt Marek of the American Red Cross. Matt, you spent a lot of time here; the last eight years you spent time here. Tomorrow what happens?

MATT MAREK, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Tomorrow what happens is, well, for the American Red Cross, we're hoping to get the support of the Red Cross movement, the International Federation of the Red Cross and that's coming from Santo Domingo with resources, with people, with staff, with expertise and get a plan together and start to mobilize and provide some sort of relief to this population.

COOPER: And that's -- is that the critical thing, to get a plan together?

MAREK: That's going to be extremely important to what we do, because this is, again, as I said before, short term and long term response.

COOPER: We've been hearing from the State Department about the planning that's going on behind the scenes even before the big planes start to come in, we already saw some big cargo planes coming in.

MAREK: Absolutely. We need to know what we're going to do. I mean we've been -- since the earthquake hit the other day, already our resources are moving, you know, our brains are moving. We've got a lot of experience, people that have been all over the world doing this type of relief effort. We hope to put it to good use.

COOPER: At this point, do you know the worst hit areas? I mean is it known?

MAREK: No, and I think -- I mean there's -- I don't think there's a way to determine the way the layout of Port-au-Prince is and the neighborhoods on the hillsides, no, I don't think that's possible right now. The need is so great in so many areas, it's difficult to categorize.

COOPER: So that makes responding all the more difficult. If you can't get some sort of macro picture and some sort of sense of this is the priority, then sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing?

MAREK: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we're going to help to coordinate. We've been here in the past. We're going to hope to coordinate about with the other actors. We're going to need to rely heavily on some the big players in the international community and hope they come through.

COOPER: Bottom line you need money.


MAREK: We need money. No doubt we need money. And we need people to give as soon as they can, as much as they can.

COOPER: You've never seen anything like this here?

MAREK: Never. In Haiti? No. I was here in 2008 for the hurricane response and where five tropical storms passed through the country in a short timeframe. And that was child's play compared to what we're looking at right now.

COOPER: We've seen the best come out in people, we've also seen some bad things come out in people just tonight, witnessing people kind of tricking others to drop their possessions. But I'm sure you've seen people helping neighbors and family members.

MAREK: Absolutely. Absolutely. What we went through shortly after the earthquake yesterday afternoon, and we had a lot of people come to us that were bringing people that weren't even from their family.

You know, "I found this boy over here, I found this girl over here." There's a lot of good. It's going to be tough to find that in the coming days because it's just going to be tougher for those people who are doing good to continue to maintain their own sanity and their own physical capabilities.

COOPER: How concerned are you about the bodies, about the people who have died?

MAREK: We have a lot of -- that's going to be a huge concern. You know, the capacity again of Haiti to digest that and respond to that is low, and we're going to need to take that into consideration heavily.

COOPER: Matt Marek, I appreciate all your efforts and the efforts of the Red Cross and of course, all those people -- the people in the State Department, all the people who are trying to help the situation here, the international workers we've already seen arrive. The Haitian government officials who are doing the best they can. Our coverage continues here tomorrow night as well. Our teams are going to be fanning out across Port-au-Prince. We'll bring you the latest information. Stay tuned to CNN and to 360 tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.