Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Crisis in Haiti
Aired January 14, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We will be on for two hours tonight bringing you all of what is happening in the streets of Port-au-Prince tonight.
We want to show you the race to save the lives of the Haitian people, person by person, brick by brick. It is a difficult job. It is a dangerous job. Tough choices have to be made between saving a limb or saving a life. You're going to see all of that play out over the next two hours.
We're also going to take you into the city's cemeteries, where they are literally piling up bodies. It's hard to notice when you first see them that they're bodies, 20, 25 bodies at a time. They're using old crypts, putting the bodies into the crypts. We will show you that later tonight.
But we want to show you first what Dr. Sanjay Gupta saw in the streets of Cite Soleil, perhaps the poorest part of this much beleaguered city, and where there are hundreds and hundreds of people trying to get medical attention.
Here's what Sanjay saw earlier today.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, we are walking through the streets of Port-au-Prince right now, get a real idea of what things are like here.
There is just very little in the way of resources or very little in the promise of help.
A 15-day-old baby, some sort of head injury. They are begging for a doctor.
Turn this on, please. Can you tell me what happened, specifically?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The house collapsed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the mother died.
GUPTA: How has she been? What has she been through?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just that bandage.
GUPTA: Well, she is moving both of her arms. That is a good sign. She is moving both of her legs.
Can you look through there again and see if you have any more gauze and bandages?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have some big gauze. I can cut it down.
GUPTA: She has a pretty significant laceration here. And what I need to make sure is that she doesn't have a skull fracture underneath. The good news is, I don't think she does. So, that's good.
This is OK. There's no skull fracture underneath here. She's got a big laceration underneath her skull. But she is moving all four extremities.
Hi, sweetie. Hi, sweetie. Hi.
How old is she?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifteen days.
GUPTA: She's going to need some antibiotics. And we're going to need to redress this wound. So, let's go ahead to do that with some clean -- let's get a clean piece of that and that gauze.
So, this is what is happening out here in the streets of Port-au- Prince, in this case, a 15-day-old baby who was in the earthquake. Let me have you hold that for a second. Yes, once over the forehead.
So, she has no skull fracture. She does have a big laceration. She is going to need antibiotics. But she does not appear to have a head injury. I think she's going to be OK.
She's sucking her thumb. She's -- she's good.
There you go. She should get some antibiotics. We will try and -- we will try and find some.
COOPER: Sanjay, that's just unbelievable. I mean, thank God that little girl is going to -- seems to -- at this point, is going to make it.
What's the situation in Cite Soleil now, where -- where you are?
GUPTA: Well, I will tell you, this is one of the few hospitals that's actually still standing. As you know, so many hospitals were devastated by this earthquake.
But I have to tell you, we weren't quite sure (AUDIO GAP) It's really (AUDIO GAP) tough to call this a functioning hospital, even though it (AUDIO GAP) standing, mainly (AUDIO GAP) they have such a critical lack of basic...
COOPER: OK. We're -- we're having -- clearly, you're having some problems with -- we're having some problems with Sanjay's audio. As you can imagine, there are a lot of technical difficulties. We're operating in an environment where there's very little electricity. We're operating off a generator. And, you know, there's very little phone service, if any phone service at all. So, apologize for that. We're going to have more with Sanjay coming up.
Not everyone was as lucky as that baby girl. As we said, we're -- we're running into stories no matter where you turn. I mean, this thing is so big. This thing is so -- I mean, this is -- this is not a story. This is not some story that you can package. This is -- this is life and death. And these struggles are occurring on every street, on every block in this city.
And you find them in -- no matter where you go. The story is too big to fit in just one little camera lens. And that's why we have had reporters fanned out throughout this city for the last two days, trying to talk to as many people as possible, trying to -- to show you what so many different people are going through in so many different parts of the city.
We were headed to one part of the city today and we came across a family which was -- had a wheelbarrow that they had hired. And they had a coffin on top of the wheelbarrow. And their daughter was inside that coffin. And they were trying to get her to the cemetery. We're going to show you what we saw.
But here's just a little bit of -- of this family trying to bury their daughter.
COOPER (voice-over): Bridgit (ph)'s father, sister, and brothers accompany the coffin, barely noticing the other bodies still laying in the road.
Bridgit was pulled out of the rubble alive. They couldn't find a doctor to treat her. "She wasn't dead when we found her at 11:00," he says. "She died at 1:00. She could have been saved, but we didn't find any help."
These are the only pictures they have of Bridgit, all they have to remember her by.
COOPER: What they found, what we found also when we got to the cemetery with them is shocking and disturbing. And it's hard to watch, but we want you to see it. We're going to be playing that very shortly.
Also ahead tonight: A woman rescued -- that's right, rescued -- today, she was buried alive. You're going to see how she got out, who got her out, how they did it minute by nerve-racking minute, heartbeat by heartbeat.
We will be right back. We're live for two hours from Port-au- Prince.
COOPER: As you know by now, there are bodies just laying in the streets all over Port-au-Prince.
And, last night, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and I were talking about, what are they going to do with these bodies? Is there a plan to try to collect these bodies?
Chris Lawrence, one of our correspondents here, just a few hours ago saw for the first time a bulldozer actually scooping up corpses, dumping them into a large truck. He wasn't sure where those bodies were being taken.
But -- but we found, at least in part, an answer to our question tonight of what happens to some of these bodies when we were driving down the street, and we just came upon a family who were wheeling a coffin to a cemetery. And we asked them if it would be all right to follow them and tell their story. And they wanted you to see what has happened to their daughter. They wanted you to see what so many families here are going through.
COOPER (voice-over): It's become an all too common sight, a coffin wheeled down a Port-au-Prince street.
(on camera): This is a woman named Bridgit Jean-Baptiste (ph). She was 28 years old. She was a journalist. She was actually teaching a class, they say, when the walls collapsed on her.
(voice-over): Bridgit's father, sister, and brothers accompany the coffin, barely noticing the other bodies still laying in the road.
Bridgit was pulled out of the rubble alive. They couldn't find a doctor to treat her. "She wasn't dead when we found her at 11:00," he says. "She died at 1:00. She could have been saved, but we didn't find any help."
These are the only pictures they have of Bridgit, all they have to remember her by.
(on camera): Bridgit's family isn't even sure if there is a space in this cemetery for them to bury her. They, frankly, don't have much money to pay for a space. They spent all the money that they could find on her casket. But they wanted to bring her body here as quickly as possible to try to give her a decent burial. Now they're just going to try to negotiate whatever they can.
(voice-over): At the cemetery, they're told to wait. There are too many bodies still to be buried, too many families consumed by grief.
"There are tons of dead people," this woman cries. "Everyone in my house, my neighbors are dead, except me."
"My friends, please, help us," this man says. "Isn't there anyone who can help us here? Help us. Help us. God is great. Help us to live."
Every few minutes, more bodies arrive.
(on camera): There's little dignity in death in Port-au-Prince these days. Some families are able to afford coffins. And you see plenty of those. But a lot of people are separated from their families. And, so, when they die, their families don't even know they're dead, and no one knows what -- who these bodies are.
So, they're just brought -- they're just brought to the cemetery, literally piled into mounds. There's probably about 20 or so people here, many of them small children. Cemetery workers here are saying they're doing the best they can. They're trying to give dignity to as many people as possible, but they're simply overwhelmed at this point.
(voice-over): Bridgit's family is finally told where they can place her casket. She will be put in an old crypt that still has empty some space. It appears to belong to another family.
There are no songs, no personal eulogies. There's little time and far too much confusion.
"God in heaven," her father prays, "we return to you this girl who's gone. In the name of the father, son, and Holy Spirit, amen."
"What God gives," her brother says, "he takes away."
A few concrete blocks are used to seal the crypt, just one more of this city's dead now laid to rest. There's no marker, no flowers. Bridgit Jean-Baptiste has been sealed in someone else's tomb.
COOPER: And, as odd as it sounds and as horrific as it sounds, there's a lot of people right now just being buried in other people's crypts. They bury people above the ground here, just like in New Orleans, if you're from that area.
But we were seeing them basically breaking holes into old crypts, and then, if there was a coffin, putting the coffin in. But for those who couldn't afford a coffin or whose bodies were just dumped at the cemetery, they were just dragging as many bodies as possible and just pushing them into the crypts and then trying to reseal them.
I saw one man bring about four bodies into one single crypt, and then -- and then we left.
As we have said, expert search-and-rescue teams are beginning to arrive here in Haiti. Many more are needed, though. Today, one of the teams actually was able to free a U.N. worker from the rubble. He was alive. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never lost hope? How was it being there trapped all that time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, buddy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You find any people...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... still alive?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. There was no one around me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As you can see, the man, remarkably, seemed basically OK.
The U.N. secretary-general called it a small miracle during a night which brought few other miracles.
In another part of the city today, Gary Tuchman came across a rescue team from Iceland trying to save a woman trapped inside a market that collapsed.
Gary joins us now live from another part of Port-au-Prince -- Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, so many anguish in Haiti. That's why it's good to report this sliver of very good news.
Just a short time ago, a 30-year-old woman trapped for 50 hours inside this building, the Caribbean Marketplace, rescued, and she is in very good condition.
They let us inside. The Iceland search-and-rescue team let us inside when it came close to getting the rescue. They had heard her voice for 24 hours. And what they did is, they got under here. She was on the first floor. And they were able to reach through and start pulling her down through a hole in the ceiling.
We saw her feet first. And, then, as she came through the hole in the ceiling, she went down a ladder with the rescue workers. Her name is Faradia Morse (ph). Faradia Morse had absolutely no injuries. She wasn't pinned down. She was entombed. She just couldn't get out of where she was.
But she was comfortable. She was able to yell and scream and knock. And they were able to successfully rescue her. She told me she was in complete darkness for 50 hours, that she couldn't see anything whatsoever, but she heard the voices, had faith she would be rescued.
She says she also heard -- and this is the very sad part of the story -- that, for the first 10 or 12 hours, she heard screaming inside this marketplace, and then the screaming got quiet. She heard nothing else.
We know that many people die inside this marketplace. We still see bodies inside. And many bodies have already been taken away.
But this woman, so lucky, 50 hours inside, she has been rescued.
And these are the men of Iceland search-and-rescue. These are the heroes. And she knew it. The Iceland search-and-rescue workers rescued her.
This gentleman, we have been talking to all day as this drama has been unfolding.
You know, you can come a little bit closer to me.
This is Michael Olafson (ph).
And, Michael, one thing we were worried about, three days, you can last without water generally. And because it's -- there was so much -- it's so mangled inside, you weren't sure where she was. You heard her voice, but they weren't sure when they could get to her. You got to her.
Tell me how it makes you and all your men here feel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, we are very pleased, so just very happy with this day.
TUCHMAN: And, guys, was there ever any doubt, if I can ask you -- tell me your name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peter.
TUCHMAN: Peter, was there ever any doubt that you would be able to rescue her successfully?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not after we got the information about -- from another victim that we found about her location. And then we heard her knocking. So, the locating was -- there was no doubt in my mind that we would get her out.
TUCHMAN: Well, congratulations to all of you. You have done great work.
This is what they came here for. And this is what they live for, to have these kinds of very successful outcomes.
He was talking about this other victim, Anderson. And this is really interesting. Earlier in the day, another woman was pulled out of here, another woman. And I don't mean to make this sound funny, but we have to have some smiles during all this. That other woman was trapped in the candy aisle of the grocery store, and she had food at the ready. She had lots of candy bars and lots of nutrition when they pulled her out.
So, that's the good news. There's sure lots of bad news. And I will tell you, there are lots of family members here who are waiting near this store, hoping that their loved ones get pulled out successfully. But, right now, there's no sign of any survivors left. But they're still looking -- Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Man, it's -- it's so great to hear that story, Gary. It's been a day of a lot of horrible scenes for a lot of people here. To hear some good news is -- is a -- is a welcome relief.
You know, I have got to say, driving around the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince today, I got the sense that fewer and fewer people on top of buildings were searching. I mean, you still saw kind of people standing around on -- on collapsed structures, but it wasn't as yesterday, where you would drive by and see them pounding.
I -- you still saw some of that, but it looked like, gradually, people are starting to think, you know, that time has -- has maybe run out. But, certainly, a story like that will give a lot of people hope that -- that people still can be found alive.
Coming up next, we're going to show you the aid situation, what people need and what they're getting so far.
We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is (INAUDIBLE) I want to know -- to my family know I'm OK in Port-au-Prince. You know, I'm -- I'm very lucky.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So many people come up to us and say, you know, please tell -- tell my mother, tell my wife I'm alive. Tell my kids in the United States I'm alive. So, we're going to be trying to play as many of those messages as we can over the next couple days, and try to put them online for you as well just to try to keep people in touch as much as possible.
There is a massive amount of supplies and people on the way here, so much so that my understanding is some charter flights were canceled, because there's kind of a bottleneck at the airport, a lot of problems. The port here is damaged, of course. The situation at the airport is difficult.
Recipients of the aid are displaced, and many people kind of simply wandering around tonight, trying to find a place to stay. We want to check in with Matt Marek of the American Red Cross, who we talked to last night.
You just came from the airport. What's the situation there?
MATTHEW MAREK, HEAD OF PROGRAMS, AMERICAN RED CROSS, HAITI: Yes.
I don't have information on the actual commercial flights.
MAREK: But, certainly, it's -- it is a bottleneck there. There are planes, cargo planes being unloaded.
COOPER: So, you're seeing relief? Because I haven't been over there. You're seeing relief, like large planes coming in?
MAREK: Absolutely. Absolutely.
MAREK: Enormous cargo planes, currently two, plus a number of other planes transporting shipments in, and on the tarmac relief items of all types.
COOPER: So, what did you do today? What sort of progress were you able to make?
MAREK: One of the most important things we're doing right now is continuing coordination efforts among the Red Cross movements and making sure our staff are coming in from Santo Domingo as planned. We received a number of our experts on our emergency relief teams. We're waiting for the rest to arrive tomorrow, establishing base camps, so we can get operations up and functioning.
COOPER: My big -- one of my big concerns is just coordination of how all these groups are working together and, again, kind of prioritizing what needs to be done. How is that working out?
I talked top one relief worker who said, you know, kind of the U.N. is taking charge of some of it, coordinating it with the Haitian government. The U.S. military is probably going to take over the airport area and kind of coordinate things there.
Is that right? Is that your understanding?
MAREK: The best -- Haiti has a lot of experience in disaster, and a lot of the international communities were here in 2008. A lot of players, a lot of personnel were here during that as well.
Coordinating bodies are in place. Of course, it's going to take some time to get everybody up to speed, but, immediately, there is communication. Red Cross is obviously involved in the coordination efforts of the U.N. and the clusters.
COOPER: So, we're seeing -- I mean, already, we're seeing some search-and-rescue teams here.
COOPER: Got a report that some bodies were being picked up by bulldozers, put into dump trucks, earlier tonight.
In terms of when you think we're going to see a big impact on the streets, when the Haitians are going to see that, do you have any sense?
MAREK: I think it's going to be a long time...
MAREK: ... a long time away, certainly.
I just left coming from the airport, as you said, and we ran into a number of bodies on the street piling up, being picked up by bulldozers, being put into dump trucks and being taken away to wherever they're being taken away.
COOPER: And in terms of food distribution or water distribution, or -- when do you think we will start to see stuff like that?
MAREK: I think -- I think that's going to hopefully come in the next few days, coordination efforts to get that to the population, as we have thousands of people behind us having experience in 2008 with the Red Cross distributions around the country after the hurricane. It's a very difficult task.
COOPER: I would think just security alone and trying to keep people calm, because now anybody who senses, like, oh, there's water available over there, I mean, a crowd can form like that, and things get very dicey very quickly.
You know, we had very little incidents back in 2008. But this is a different type of situation. This is a very dense population, an urban area, as opposed to the rural settings that we were delivering aid to in 2008.
And you're right. The security situation is going to be something that we're going to be very concerned with whenever we do figure out exactly how the distribution is going to happen of whatever relief supplies people are in need of.
COOPER: What's your recommendation, I mean, for folks who are watching around the world in terms of giving aid? Is it cash that the American Red Cross needs?
MAREK: Cash is going to be one -- cash is going to be -- yes, it's going to be the most important thing for a lot of institutions right now to procure what we need, OK, in order to deliver relief.
We need that flexibility. And we need to make sure we can get as much as we can in order to get operations more functional, more capital, more relief, more water, more food, OK?
COOPER: OK. What's the -- I mean, do you have a list of like the top five things you would like to see -- you know, that need to be done?
MAREK: I think, you know, that the effort is picking up about the management of the cadavers that are around. That's great. It's a very sensitive issue.
MAREK: But it's a very important issue. And it's not happening quick enough. If you have driven through the streets at all today, the smell of death is everywhere.
COOPER: It's much more present than it was yesterday.
MAREK: Extremely potent. And especially if you come on larger collapsed buildings and rubble, it's visually disturbing to see, you know.
COOPER: I know a lot of people are disturbed. I have had people come up to me who were disturbed here, and I'm sure a lot of our viewers who saw the piece I did earlier, where, I mean, they're literally taking bodies and just shoving them into old crypts.
From a health standpoint, does that make sense?
MAREK: No, of course not. I mean, the bodies need to be properly taken care of. I'm not a medical expert.
MAREK: But, certainly, we have got to be concerned with the sanitation and health issues.
COOPER: The other thing about that which really, you know, I have been thinking about since I saw it is that a lot of these people are just going to disappear. I mean, there's no records being kept of who these people are.
It's not like in New Orleans, where bodies that were recovered were stored, and families had time to claim them. People -- if people are being buried in crypts...
COOPER: ... no one is recording their names or taking their pictures.
(CROSSTALK) MAREK: Haiti is not a country like the U.S. or other Western, you know, Europe nations or something, where, you know, medical records exist, Social Security numbers are kept.
I mean, this is a population that has...
MAREK: ... you know, very fragile institutions to begin with.
COOPER: So, an accurate death count or death toll may never really be known, really?
MAREK: I think that's -- I think that's very true.
COOPER: It's so haunting that somebody can just disappear. I mean, somebody who lived a good and decent life and was just walking down the street all of a sudden is gone, and their loved ones will never know what happened to them.
MAREK: Absolutely. Absolutely. Haiti -- Haiti has a history of such tragic events. And I think this one has topped them all.
COOPER: Was today -- I mean, I don't want to say a good day, but in terms of you, the work you're doing, the organization that you're working for and what you want to have seen done, was it -- do you feel like some progress was made for you today?
MAREK: I empathize with the Haitians in thinking that nothing is coming fast enough. Any minute, second, or day that anybody has to have a loved one trapped under a building still alive or deceased, or be living and sleeping in the streets, it's not happening fast enough, not even for me.
But I am satisfied to know that our efforts of coordination are on track. We're moving as quickly as we can. And I'm confident, with the resources and expertise that we have on the way, that -- that we're going to be ready for the long, long haul.
COOPER: I was talking to a doctor today. And I felt like an idiot, because I didn't really realize this, but they were saying that, you know, even a broken leg here, if there's an open wound in that broken leg, if it's not treated, that can get infected, it can get sepsis, and -- and that person can die from that infection, something as simple as a broken leg.
I kind of thought, well, a broken leg is not so bad, but, if there's an open wound on that, somebody here very -- in a very short amount of time can die.
MAREK: Absolutely. Absolutely.
And, I mean, any number of illnesses, I mean, the laceration severity, the exposure, you know, the vulnerability that a lot of the individuals are facing, it is extreme.
Well, Matt, I appreciate all you're doing. And thanks for being with us again tonight.
Again, if you want more information about the American Red Cross, you can go to our Web site. We're -- or CNN.com and Impact Your World. We have a lot of information there -- if you want to help, CNN.com/impact.
You can also make a $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting Haiti, H-A-I-T-I, to 90999. To donate $5 to Wyclef Jean's charity, Yele Haiti, you can text Yele -- Y-E-L-E -- to 501501.
More now on the aid mission. Tom Foreman has that. We're going to talk to him in just a moment. Tom has been tracking the bigger picture from Washington -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Anderson, what's converging on you right now is a storm of aid. Look at this. Russia, China. We've highlighted all the big countries here, all the European Union nations, South American countries, and of course, the United States, Mexico and Canada. All of this aid coming in fast and hard toward Haiti right here.
I'm going to turn this on and move you in a little bit closer to show you what we're talking about as we move into the island.
The simple truth is, Anderson, the amount of aid headed your way is truly enormous right now. The question is, how's it going to get settled once it gets there?
As we move in a little bit closer here, I want to show you some of the issues that are at hand. As you move into Port-au-Prince, you can get an idea of how many different agencies are trying to respond here. For example, medical aid, food aid, blankets, all sorts of things coming in here.
Look at this: international aid. Doctors and medical supplies. Food and water. Security personnel and troops coming from all those countries we showed you before. Doctors without Borders is bringing in an inflatable hospital with two operating rooms. All of this is converging right now.
But here's the critical part. How is it going to operate in this city, where the roads still remain closed in many places, where the harbor is a mess, where the airport is just now being sorted out?
A big key to all of this is going to be the presence of the U.S. military, and that's going to mean an awful lot of people coming in.
Look at this. The United Nations troops are on 24-hour patrols. They're focusing on command and control. The USS Carl Vinson is moving to the coast. It's going to bring along with it Coast Guard cutters and helicopters which are already, many of them already in the area. A large-deck amphibious ship of Marines. Those are already heading in. They will bring in dozens of helicopters with heavy lift capability, and they'll start opening the streets up, trying to make all of that aid move out as quickly as possible into the city, where it is so desperately needed to deal with all of these folks. Marines and troops showing up. It should make a big difference, Anderson.
And finally, it looks like tomorrow you'll start seeing a big bulk of it arriving.
COOPER: That's -- that is great news. It cannot come soon enough. And I know that -- I just talked to one relief worker who was saying the Haitian government is trying to encourage people to get out of Port-au-Prince. If they're able to, if they're healthy, if they can walk or get access to a vehicle to try to -- and they have relatives out in the countryside, to just try to leave the city.
And also, I think there's talk about trying to form some sort of almost like a refugee camp, although I guess it's more of an internally-displaced people camp, maybe somewhere outside the city that can, you know, more contain people. You can have medical services there. It can be a lot more organized. But again, it's early days.
Up next, what we found when we went to the prison in downtown Port-au-Prince. We heard it had collapsed. We heard that all the inmates had escaped. We're going to show you what we found, ahead.
COOPER: You know, a natural disaster like this can have kind of an impact and repercussions on things that you wouldn't even consider. When I first got here, I wasn't thinking much about the prison system here in Port-au-Prince. Then I started to hear stories that the prison right in downtown had collapsed, had been destroyed and all the prisoners escaped. So we went there today to try to see what was true. Take a look.
COOPER (voice-over): At the prison in downtown Port-au-Prince, the inmates have escaped. The rubble is all that remains.
(on camera) We heard the prison was destroyed. We didn't realize we'd find the door wide open.
(voice-over) Inside prisoners' possessions are strewn about. Signs of overcrowding are everywhere. This jail was meant to hold some 1,200 inmates, but at the time of the quake there were more than 4,500.
(on camera) We've been told that there were three dead bodies here. Turns out there's actually four. Four men. Looks like they were crushed by falling debris. There's actually dried blood all here on the floor.
We just saw a young man, a little boy who was looking for his brother, looking at the bodies. But a lot of these people may never be identified. I mean, they're already swollen beyond recognition, and it's not clear how soon these men will be collected and buried. A lot of people, I think, in Port-au-Prince will simply just disappear. Their bodies will never be identified. Their families will never know what really happened to them.
(voice-over) People take whatever supplies they can find. Businesses closed, there's still money to be made.
(on camera) You can see the walls of the prison are still intact. So it's not as if the entire prison collapsed and the prisoners were able to escape. We're not exactly sure what happened here, but a U.N. source tells us they believe the prisoners actually rioted after the earthquake, took over the facility from the guards, and then were able to escape from a variety of different routes.
We found this rope, which has been tied around a post. It -- and then thrown over the side of this prison wall. It goes down about 30 or 40 feet. Clearly, inmates were using this rope to try to escape, and all along these walls there's bloody hand prints, streaks of blood.
(voice-over) With Haiti's police stretched thin, there's little hope of rounding up all the inmates any time soon. This man is the prison warden.
(on camera) How big a concern is it that all these prisoners are now out there?
(voice-over) "When you have criminals, bandits, assassins who terrorize the population," he says, "and we have all these types here, it's a big problem for the country."
Another big problem for this problem-prone country; the last thing they need to deal with in these difficult days.
COOPER: And we can -- we saw just last night the trouble, you know, the impact that some troublemakers can make. Just last night, if you were watching the program around 11 p.m., people just started running on the streets, over 100 people. They said that they had heard rumors that there was a tsunami coming, a flood coming. We believe it was just a rumor spread by some people who were looking to steal the possession of people who left their possessions behind when they ran away in terror.
Of course, rumors like that can spread. So the idea that there are some 4,600 prisoners now out loose in the streets of Port-au- Prince or elsewhere is not anything that the people here need to deal with.
I just want to explain, it's very dark behind me. And just to explain why it is, pretty obvious, but just in case you haven't realized it, there's still no electricity in most of Port-au-Prince. There's a park that's behind me where several hundred people are spending the night tonight, as they have the last -- the two other nights before it.
I've seen for the first time tonight some candles in there. So some people have some resources. They were able to get some candles. And occasionally, you'll hear people singing or praying and singing some songs to kind of keep their spirits up.
Coming up, we're going to show you the fight to save the wounded. Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us inside one crowded hospital doing what it can to treat hundreds of patients. That's next.
COOPER: As we've been showing you the earthquake's overwhelmed Haiti's medical system, which was pretty much overwhelmed even before this earthquake.
Thousands injured. Clinic, hospitals, still -- the ones that are still standing, I should point out, are overflowing. Medical supplies, doctors are scarce to nonexistent in a lot of places.
Today chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta was at a hospital where hundreds of people, some of them critically injured, are waiting and waiting and waiting for help. And some of them are dying as they wait. Take a look.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What you're looking at is a makeshift mortuary in one of the few hospitals that's still up and running here in Port-au-Prince, if you can call it that.
Over the past few hours we've seen dozens of body come out of this mortuary and taken to a truck where they're taken to another ground. The bodies not even being identified.
So much of the attention is now focused over here, on patients who are alive and in desperate need of medical care. Want to try to walk through here, give you a very different perspective on what's happening in the aftermath of this natural disaster in Haiti.
Literally dozens of patients just lining the halls here. You have patients on cardboard boxes like this. They hardly have any resources. Trying to care for patients like him. When I say no resources, I mean no gauze, hardly any bandages and very few I.V.s. To get antibiotics, to get pain medication is a very difficult thing to do.
Lots of types of injuries here after an earthquake. You see a lot of crush injuries. You see penetrating injuries. You see this gal who we talked to earlier who has a broken leg, and they're literally using some Ace wrap and a wooden board to try and keep her leg stable. This is jungle medicine. It is primitive medicine. It is medicine that can sometimes work but hardly ever does.
You see, as well, more cardboard boxes over here. You see another splint. Again, using a wooden board like that to try and offer a little bit of stability. They're trying to take that off right now, trying to examine the leg. The man that's doing that is not a doctor. It's his friend.
Let's keep walking through here. As we make our way out of the hospital, again, one of the few that are up and running, you can just see how busy this place is. This is where you want to be. This is an actual hospital.
Out here is where things get even more challenging. This is where you have areas of makeshift tents. Patients in these little cloth tents who are brought here because there's really nothing else that can be done for them. They have no -- no resources at all to be able to take care of them, so the health-care personnel bring these patients out here to try and get them out of the way so they can try and take care of more patients in the hospital.
As we walk through here, you've probably never seen anything quite like this. Stretchers outside under trees, I.V.s hanging from trees. That is what is necessary here. That is what is happening here in Haiti in Port-au-Prince.
Outside on the streets, patients know about this place, and they keep coming here. Just take a look at the long waiting line, people waiting to be seen. They're going to continue waiting for hours and days.
Even as I was telling you about the patients waiting outside, another truck pulls up. And as you can tell, this is the reality for a lot of people. These are two patients who are deceased. They were brought to the hospital as their loved ones simply looking for a place, something to do with their bodies.
GUPTA: We are still here outside that hospital, Anderson. Behind me there's sort of this makeshift area, as well. Lots of patients out here. These are patients who really, we're told, there's nothing that can be done for them. Either they're not sick enough, or they're too ill.
I can tell you, Anderson, every 20 or 30 minutes or so you start to hear some loud wailing, some screams, a clear indicator that a loved one has died, and they take those loved ones away.
Operations are actually being performed out here, as well. A Caesarean section, for example, was performed not too long ago. I'm happy to report both mother and baby are doing well after that particular operation.
One of the most challenging things that I've seen, Anderson, something I want to show you, and I want to warn you it's going to be difficult to watch. But so many people have said they want people to know how undignified things have become here in Haiti, how much a loss of human dignity has occurred.
I want to show video of a body actually being brought out of the hospital. Look how this is being handled. It is being handled in a tarp, literally being carried out. Look where it's put, Anderson. Into a dump truck, essentially like this. Eventually, that dump truck raises its arm and dumps the body, literally dumping the body into another truck, Anderson. This is something you've been talking about.
But again, these bodies, unidentified, put into that dump truck and then carted away someplace far away from here not to be seen again. And family members sometimes crawling on top of that dump truck, trying to see if their family members, their loved ones were, in fact, part of that -- all those bodies inside those trucks.
But that is what's been happening here all day long and continues into the night, as well, Anderson.
COOPER: And Sanjay, you and I haven't had a chance to talk today. While you have been at Cite Soleil, I was actually at the cemetery, I guess, on the other end of where some of those bodies end up being dumped.
And they're taken off those trucks. They're put into a big pile and then gradually, as old crypts, above-ground tombs that people are buried in are opened up, they're basically being shoved into those tombs and then just being resealed up. And multiple people being -- being sealed up. Their names not being recorded, photographs not being taken.
And as I was talking to Matt with the American Red Cross, I mean, these are people who are just going to simply disappear, and no one's ever going to know what happened to them.
I understand, Sanjay, that some of your calls for the -- badly- needed medical aid are already being heard by people back in the U.S.
GUPTA: Yes, this is the good part, Anderson. You know, this is the part where I love my job. We love our jobs, because people are hearing the messages. They are talking about specific things that are needed here.
Supplies did start coming in, people telling us they've been watching the coverage, bringing those supplies in as a result. Very good news there.
Charles Barkley, someone we know well at CNN, in fact, called CNN said, "Look, I've been watching, as well. I want to give thousands of dollars to buy supplies, have them brought directly to this hospital." So that is gratifying.
You know, when it comes to medicine, Anderson, as you know, things are not measured in weeks and months. They're measured in hours and days. So, the sooner the better. There are a lot of people behind me in that hospital over there. Hundreds more who need that help as soon as possible.
COOPER: And Sanjay, I already said this earlier, but I think it bears repeating. I mean, the clock is ticking. For the people who are outside there, even something minor, which seems minor to us, can end up killing them in a very short amount of time.
I just learned for the first time today that, if you have an open wound, a broken leg, and an open wound, that can quickly become infected, and you can die from that infection.
GUPTA: Secondary infections are a major concern. These are called preventable deaths, Anderson. And that's where the medical attention is certainly focused. That's the bad news.
The good news is, as I think you're alluding to, is that antibiotics that literally cost a nickel, five cents, could also save lives as a result. They're in this dire situation where they can go in one of two directions. And the direction -- the direction they will go is determined by things that are incredibly basic, shockingly basic, if people really sit down and think about it.
COOPER: All right. A little bit of money here goes an awfully long way. But time is really short.
Sanjay, amazing job all day today. Stay safe there in Cite Soleil.
Coming up, did rampant corruption add to this catastrophe? Haitian politicians, generations of them, frankly, under fire tonight, accused of looking the other way as poorly-built homes went up. We're "Keeping Them Honest" next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am Manuel Goutier (ph). Just want to let my family in Maryland, Connecticut, and my brother who's in Iraq that I'm OK. The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is down, but I'm safe and well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Manuel Goutier (ph), that -- Goutier (ph), that is his name. He wants his family in America and his brother in Iraq to know he's doing OK. We're doing what we can to make sure these kind of messages get across.
Manuel walked away. Others had to be dug out of the rubble today, including a 2-year-old boy, pulled to safety tonight by Spanish rescuers from the wreckage of his home not far from here. Remarkable photos of a very welcome moment for a little boy and for his dad, as well.
Did all of this, though, have to happen on this kind of scale? There's no doubt this is a natural disaster, but there are many, many people who believe it has been compounded by generations, years of corruption that has plagued this nation, corruption that contributed to the shoddy kind of construction of homes and buildings now that have been reduced to rubble. It's a "Keeping Them Honest" angle that Joe Johns is taking a closer look at for us tonight.
Joe joins us from Washington. What have you found, Joe?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, talking about a money pit here. Money going to Haiti. After all, yes, it's the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Fifty percent of the people can't read, and the infrastructure's a shambles. Look at the construction. All the buildings that have collapsed and how virtually there is no Haitian response.
Over the last 50 years since 1960 the U.S. has spent a lot of money, about $5 billion, on aid to Haiti. Raj Desai at Georgetown University is an expert in international development.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJ DESAI (ph), GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: I think it's no secret that U.S. Aid, as well as aid from other donors, has been basically an abject failure in Haiti. Now, there have been some areas of success, such as in reducing the HIV infection rate, but all the other metrics by which you would measure aid success -- sustainability, impact, effects on economic development, human development -- it's been an utter disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: In other words, the money didn't go where it needed to go.
A lot of this, of course, about the government. Last year Transparency International, a government watchdog group based in Germany, ranked Haiti among the ten most corrupt nations in the world. The Haitian government has been seen as incompetent, sometimes unstable for decades under the rule of Papa Doc Duvalier and then his son, known as Baby Doc. The country was ruled by feared dictators who helped themselves to whatever they wanted, with Baby Doc, according to some accounts, taking hundreds of millions of dollars with him.
As corrupt as they were, the U.S. supported the Duvaliers, because they were friendly to our government, and Haiti was seen as a vital strategic ally during the Cold War.
And then there was the on-again, off-again rule of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1990, the first ever democratically elected president. But a year later, the military threw him out.
Then in 1994, under President Bill Clinton, the U.S. invaded Haiti to reinstall Aristide. So the point of all this: not a lot of government stability over the last 50 years. Corruption, mismanagement.
"Keeping Them Honest," we also have to point out the U.S. bears much responsibility for the mess in Haiti. First, too often the U.S. gave millions to the dictators that never got the money to the people who needed it. Nicole Lee, president of TransAfrica, lived in Haiti for years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NICOLE LEE, PRESIDENT, TRANSAFRICA: We need to make sure that aid is getting to the right people. That we need to make sure that aid is getting to the people who need it the most. And unfortunately, many, many times our aid has actually gone to people who we agree with politically, but not necessarily can be most efficient or most effective. And so that's a real concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Also with every new U.S. election, foreign policy changed. So did the amount of aid provided to Haiti. And now, Haiti, of course, is going to need much more money than ever before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: This is a country that has suffered for so long with bad governance, the destruction of their -- of their land. Cutting trees down to have charcoal so you have fuel. It's a devastated country, and it desperately needs help in creating an infrastructure, putting in roads, putting in electricity, putting in cell-phone connections. Everything that a country needs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So pushing forward now, the hope is this catastrophe could be an opportunity for a fresh start. A chance finally for the nations of the world, including the U.S., of course, to get it right -- Anderson.
COOPER: Joe, you know, what's, I mean, so amazing about your report and about the generations of corruption here among government officials is that you talk to Haitian people in the streets now, and it's like they have come to so accept it and expect it from their own government. They don't even look to their government to be -- to be providing aid.
They're talking about the U.S. They're talking about the United Nations. They're looking at outsiders to help them, or they're helping themselves. And that's what the Haitian people have had to do for generations, because the central government has not been there for them.
It's shocking when you see it up close, and you just see that it's so -- it's become so accepted, almost, people think it's normal. There's nothing normal about the level of corruption which has occurred here for a long time.
Joe, "Keeping Them Honest." Something that we do every night. Appreciate it.
Just ahead tonight, what we witnessed today in a city that has forever changed. Take a look as we wandered down the streets this morning with a small camera, my reporter's notebook. We'll bring that to you next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: If you've been joining us over the last two nights, and I hope you have, we've been talking about this park behind us where hundreds of people are camped out. We wanted to show you what it's like during the day.
So earlier this morning I went out with a small TV camera and filed a reporter's notebook to just kind of show you some of the sights and sounds that we see every morning. Take a look.
COOPER (voice-over): Every hour is a struggle. Each day seems harder than the last. Early in the morning, we find people searching through a pile of concrete rubble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a spot where they used to make sandals, and it's incredible that people are so desperate they are looking for what remains of the sandals, so they can go either out to sell or wear. That's what's going on.
COOPER: Makeshift encampments now fill public parks and open spaces.
(on camera) Hundreds of people are sleeping in this park, called the central park in downtown Port-au-Prince. You see it on soccer fields, any place there's an open field, a little bit of shade, people will congregate.
Hundreds of people have slept here overnight. Now they're just started to wake up. Some of them have actual tents. Some of them just have a plastic sheet like this. Some people, of course, have nothing at all.
There's just not really any place for them to go. They can't go back to their homes. If their homes haven't been destroyed already, they're afraid that their home may crumble in some of these aftershocks. I mean, some of the aftershocks have been pretty significant.