The lone morgue in Port-au-Prince is filled to overflowing, while a mass grave outside the city holds thousands of bodies. Yet three days after a titanic earthquake, the death count has barely begun in Haiti’s capital.
Hundreds of U.S. troops reached the city on Friday, but the nascent international aid effort had yet to show much impact and residents were becoming increasingly angry and impatient.
Amid reports of scattered looting, Haitians were in a desperate search for food and water, even as bodies still litter the streets.
Urgent needs are being met in piecemeal fashion. Makeshift medical clinics — most of them outdoors — are struggling to cope with the injured, often with few or no medical supplies.
"Haiti is dead, is dead, is dead, is dead, is dead. Everything is breaking down," Philippe Mercier told NPR’s Greg Allen. "It’s like somebody who lives in the street, you know? Eat on the street, drink water on the street. There’s no pure water."
Hundreds of thousands of survivors in this desperately poor Caribbean nation are believed to be homeless. Many have fashioned makeshift shelters on the sides of city streets, in parks, and wherever else they can take refuge as aftershocks continue to rattle the city.
"Haiti is dead, is dead, is dead, is dead, is dead."
It’s time for the world to come to Haiti, embracing a nothing with nothing, nothing at all to give back.
Except life. Except thanks. Except survival.