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January 13th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Anderson on the ground in Haiti

Anderson on board a United Nations chopper heading into Haiti.
Anderson on board a United Nations chopper heading into Haiti.

Anderson Cooper | BIO

AC360° Anchor

Editor’s Note: Anderson landed in Haiti this morning to report on the devastating aftermath of the earthquake. He spoke to us live throughout the day with his impressions of the situation. Tune in tonight for our live report from Haiti at 10 p.m. ET.

Anderson Cooper: We're just about to leave the airport. I've seen a number of U.N. vehicles, one armored personnel carrier driving by, as well as a U.N. bulldozer. So we're seeing some bulldozers, but not government - Haitian government property.

We're seeing some U.N. vehicles, also some private bulldozers from a construction company, which the owner of the company has put to try to aid people where they can. But again, the situation is really very fluid.

Some streets you walk on, it seems almost normal. People are kind of just walking around, not in any particular direction, not really with any particular place to go.

There's - obviously, businesses are not open. The airport is not open. The scene is just very strange.

It's actually pretty quiet at the airport. A number - a few Dominican military helicopters landed a short timing ago, so there's a small Dominican presence here. But it's just two helicopters, some more journalists, some aid workers have come in, but it's not a large scale by any means.

We haven't seen any large, kind of, C-130s, the kind that will be needed to bring in large supplies. We're seeing, you know, one or two or three or four Red Cross workers, the kind of people who are the first ones to come in to try to assess what the needs are before some of the heavier equipment comes in.

But the situation is - it's tense, it's very strange. We're now basically just organized vehicles, which is a difficult thing to get, and we're going to go start reporting, seeing what we can see. And we'll get back to you.

Tony Harris: Anderson, can you clear up the situation at the airport for us please, I know there is some questions about if the tower is operational and can bring flights in and get flights out. Can you clear up that situation obviously time is of the essence and you need aid flights to come in as soon as possible.

Anderson Cooper: I can tell you probably about six or seven helicopters have landed at the airport Dominican Republic, three or four others as well. There's one fixed wing aircraft which has landed, I think it was a 15-seat plane but it's not coordinated.

The control tower is basically out. It's there, it's physically standing, but it's not – I’m told it's not operational.

I spoke to two pilots who just came in on fixed wing aircraft and they said there was somebody on a radio somewhere in the airport who is trying to help kind of coordinate the landing of planes. But it is - it's literally just somebody on a radio and no one is sure where that person is.

So it's very much up to the pilots to try to coordinate amongst themselves and using visual flight rules to kind of just look for what aircraft is around them.

So in terms of bringing in large-scale aircraft, that has not been happening yet. I talked to one official from the U.N. who's trying to coordinate things at the airport in Santo Domingo and they're hoping to bring in some sort of radar equipment or some sort of control tower sort of equipment that they can then take over the coordination. But at this point that has not happened.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Gigi Allen

    I asked earlier about the BRESMA orphanage in Port au Prince. I have since found out that they are all alive, but on the street and desperate for food and water. I hope someone can get some aid to these poor children soon.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  2. P

    Just wanted to say heartfelt thanks to Anderson & every other reporter on CNN who is willing to assist. Thank you for your good reporting you do & thank you for your willingness to help others in need.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  3. Melinda Jose

    I admire you, Anderson Cooper, for getting yourself to the epicenter and reporting. You do a tremendous job covering the plight of the people! I tell my students to watch you for excellent reporting. Thanks and God Bless Haiti!

    January 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  4. Shella Mompoint

    I know money is very important in helping Haiti, but the people really need water, non perishable food, medicine, first aid kits, flash light, candles & matches, cots, and tents.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  5. judy Roberts

    thank you anderson for your reporting in this horrendous catastrophe.
    What can one do to help? I cannot imagine the magnitude of a potential loss of 100,000 lives. Keep safe Anderson.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  6. Edin

    I pray to God that all of the people of Haiti that are trapped under the rubble survive. People from Bosnia and Herzegovina are with you! Edin from Sarajevo

    January 13, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  7. pam beighley

    What devastation, there is no way to wrap ones mind around it
    I can not even imagine where one would turn can you imagine
    standing in the middle of all the rubble and not knowing where
    to go, are you alone,hearing others cries and you can do nothing
    it has to be the most lost one can ever become, we can see it
    on the TV and soon we forget, think about those people they
    will never beable to forget.
    Stay safe everyone.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  8. Ray

    Where can we volunteetr?

    January 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  9. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    All these images are strong. It is very sad to see so many people who lost everything! My prayers are with everyone in Haiti!

    Thanks for the transcripts of reports!

    January 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  10. Ruben D Caminero Jr

    The horrible disaster that occurred in Haiti has brought alot of heartache,sadness,devastation,and wide spread turmoil but it also brought that is something so pure and beautiful...>>>UNITY<<< Its so refreshing & beautiful to see humanity come together to help aid our fellow haitian brothers and sisters. It Sort reminds me of when 9/11 happened and everyone came together. UNITY IS BEAUTIFUL & Thanks to those who help.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  11. ted in portland

    BTW, kudos to Anderson Cooper for his concern and determination to get there in spite of the difficulties.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  12. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    Great report!! Thanks! Looking forward on AC360!

    January 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  13. Becky Jones

    Why can't the US deploy troops immediately to Haiti to help in any way
    possible?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  14. Dale

    My friends started two orphanages for young girls in Haiti and can't get any info on the girl's and the staff's safety. Can you help?
    One is located just outside of Port au Prince.It is called Freedom House – Bethesda

    http://freedom-house.org

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  15. Christina, Windber

    I can understand the devastating sadness and loss the people of Haiti are feeling. My mom was taken this morning and although everyone talks about God's will and all, it is small comfort in the wake of the big hold the loss leaves in your heart.

    May God send help to all those affected quickly. Our prayers are with them all.

    Anderson and everyone be safe!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  16. KatchProFILMS

    Remember... "teamwork"... that's the KEY.
    (See you back home.)

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  17. Bill

    The Dominican government has move quickly to try to help. But remember the DR is not a rich country, they need external help. Also the border situation has been chaotic as countless number of haitians have been fleeing into the dominican republic, tying up a large number of troops on their way to assist in Haiti

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  18. Alex Jodoin

    Anderson,

    Someone needs to address the fact that prisonners have escape from the jails and that if no one does anything quick enough, criminals will take over the streets since the Haitian population are still feeling aftershocks and they are being asked to stay out of theirs homes.

    This is a recipe for more crime and more casualty then Haiti can afford during this ever so trying times

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  19. Jessica Patti

    I represent an organization called Raising Haiti that among other things, is operating a mobile medical clinic in Port-au-Prince. We were scheduled to have a clinic Jan 23-24, but obviously those plans have changed. Even so, I have a staff of 8 medical professionals, supplies and medication essential for a medical clinic and we would all like to come in whatever capacity we are needed. We have permission to function by the Ministry of Health and are basically just trying to get into the country. Also, we were to stay in the Hotel Montana which I have heard was destroyed. We would be willing to work for or in conjunction with any organization that would have us. Please contact Jessica at jmp620@yahoo.com or Cheryl at cherylcrumley@msn.com. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  20. Verna Edwards

    I'm calling all ocean liners to go to Haiti. I hope ocean liners are going to Haiti so the people will have a warm, comfortable place to stay until they have done recovery and made sure everyone is safe. Please provide a safe haven for Haitian people to stay. Please, if possible, persuade them to do the right thing. They can hold thousands of people and these people need to be shown some love and support during this tragedy. Please Help the Haitian people!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  21. celine sullivan

    can anderson check on the orphanage in haiti called maison-de-lumiere? my sister judith beltis from CA just got there this week along with others from her church to volunteer at the orphanage. thank you

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  22. Yolanda Perea

    Thank you Anderson Cooper and CNN for keeping us up to date on how our neighbors in Haiti are doing. Needless to say, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. It breaks our hearts to see & hear all the suffering of the people of Haiti. They have gone through so much! We will do as much as we can to help out too! Tons of blessings!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  23. joel

    please cooper find out for me in delmas 33 village montpelier rue a lazarre # 13 bis exaclit after the police office at delmas 33 the name off familly is georges my mother marie marthe sister marie junie georges cassandra georges pouchon georges alvin fils aimes osvald georges please my father toleme brother jocelyn numa gardy junior numa robenson numa rose hermiose numa.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  24. Cindy

    Great reporting so far Cooper and crew! Looking forward to videos and reports from you all!

    Cindy..Ga.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm |