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January 13th, 2010
01:15 PM ET

On the way to 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

We are not sure what to expect. The initial reports are bad, but as we all know, they can often be inaccurate. Rumors become facts, guesses become estimates.

On a story like this you need to see it with your own eyes. I am in a taxi in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The airport in Port-au-Prince is shut down, so we flew here on the last flight out of New York at 1 a.m. I bought two cases of water from a cafe at the airport and we are heading to some helicopters that are about to take off for Haiti.

I've made this trip before. In 1994 I drove into Haiti from the Dominican Republic. It wasn't a natural disaster then, it was a man-made one.

The military dictator who was running Haiti was about to be run out of town, and U.S. forces were on their way to return the democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. It was a scary time. The thugs who worked for the government still roamed the streets. When U.S. forces finally arrived, I was at the port waiting for them along with hundreds of excited Haitians.

I will never forget the joy, the hope, it was palpable. People hugged one another in the streets. I remember a Haitian woman grabbing me, saying "merci, papa," as if I had something to do with it. I didn't. I just felt lucky to be there.

I've been back to Haiti a lot over the years, in good times and bad. It is a remarkable country, the people are strong. To survive they have had to be. I wish them strength in the difficult hours and days ahead.


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Lynne Wallace

    Anderson....stay safe! Yes I agree you are truly a wonderful human being...you go where the news is.....I always look forward to getting the view thru your eyes. Take Care......god be with you!
    Lynne Wallace

    January 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  2. Devin,Rotterdam

    Hope you the best of luck Mr.Anderson Cooper.... god speed and god be with you.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  3. Rennae

    God be with you Anderson - you are truly a extraordinary JOURNALIST!! Too many talkingheads sit back and COMMENT about other people's ACTION - so inspirational that you GO to where news is and bring us an indepth view of what things are like.

    The world needs more people like you,

    -With humbling respect I send up a prayer that He cloaks you in His grace and merciful safety....

    January 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  4. Marie

    I would like to get more news from the Jacmel, LesCayes, Port-de-Paix, Greasier, Carrefour. That is where most of the aftershocks happened.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  5. Brenda (NJ)

    Thank you Anderson.
    I will continually pray for the people of Haiti.
    Good luck Anderson.
    I look forward to seeing your show tonight and get up to date and accurate information.
    Be careful.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  6. Eugenia - San Francisco

    i really hope you are prepared for what you going to see. i know you compared this to katrina, the scale of this does not compare. i wish you a light heart and sound mind.

    January 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Diane

    Anderson, thank you for going. The world is counting on you.

    January 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  8. Mike Glover

    Anderson,

    It is greatly appreciated your willingness to go into this disaster to provide professional and passionate reporting. Many of us will have a better comprehension of the devastation. ALL AC360 viewers need to provide some form of help! BE SAFE AND KNOW you are being prayed for! – Mike

    January 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  9. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    I cannot understand why the U.S. doesn't already have big cargo planes loaded with disaster supplies on standby all of the time.

    All they need then are pilots and a destination and somone to unload.

    Why, Anderson, hasn't one plane arrived with emergency supplies??

    My grandmother was in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and they had hundreds of tents set up at Golden Gate Park for thousands of homeless (and also martial law). They got this done very quickly. She was age 21 and remembered it well and told us about it. They had to deal with the city burning after the quake.

    It is 2010, I would think we would have something in place from the US by now.

    January 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  10. Barbara

    Anderson,

    You are a trooper... God bless you and keep you safe... Thanks for your talent and expertise in Journalism and reporting the real story.

    Let us all help in any way we can to help the people of Haiti.

    Stay safe and Thank You........

    January 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
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