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January 14th, 2010
04:44 PM ET

Video: Rumors of a flood

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake
January 14th, 2010
04:19 PM ET

How to aim relief dollars where they're needed in Haiti

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/14/uscoast.guard.haiti.jpg caption="An injured American arrives at U.S. Naval hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter on Wednesday."]

Gillian Yeoh
Special to CNN

On January 13, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti and devastated thousands of lives. The panic, the sorrow - and the desire to help - are all too familiar, given the many disasters that have occurred in recent years all over the world. But we can draw on lessons from each of these catastrophes as we plunge into the recovery phase.

My organization, Give2Asia, has served as a leader in U.S. philanthropy for short-term and long-term recovery in times of disaster. Our recent work has supported survivors of the 2008 China earthquake, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008 and typhoons Ketsana and Parma in Southeast Asia this past year.

These experiences have taught us a lot.

If you are interested in supporting the disaster relief and recovery efforts and helping the survivors in Haiti, I would like to share some tips and advice based on our experiences.

There are three phases of disaster response. Understanding these phases is important, because it can help you decide when and how you can assist.

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Filed under: Haiti
January 14th, 2010
03:58 PM ET

Satellite pictures of the devastation

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/14/satellite.aftermath.jpg caption="Buildings were reduced to rubble and their inhabitants trapped in the debris." width=292 height=320]

Phil Han
CNN

Updated satellite imagery of Port-au-Prince has helped to reveal the full extent of the widespread devastation caused by Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Search engine giant Google updated its Google Maps imagery of Haiti on Thursday in the hopes it will help aid organizations involved in the recovery and relief effort.

The startling before-and-after photos show entire sections of Port-au-Prince completely destroyed and football fields which have become refugee camps.

Google said it updated the images to try to make things easier for people trying to locate loved ones or for groups to deliver supplies.

Impact Your World: How you can help

"Because of the awfulness and the intensity of the situation we wanted to make sure we could help," a Google spokesperson told CNN.

"We wanted to give those services that are helping people the most up-to-date images available."

In one set of photos, the Presidential Palace is clearly shown to have sustained major damage.

In another photo, an entire neighborhood of Port-au-Prince is destroyed.

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Filed under: Haiti
January 14th, 2010
03:00 PM ET
January 14th, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Raw Data: Corporate donations to the Haiti relief effort

AC360°

Editors Note: The first wave of international aid landed Thursday in quake-battered Haiti as part of an urgent effort rivaling the worldwide response to the 2004 tsunami. We found this list of corporate donations to Haiti – published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - in the aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

 

Find out more about these donations.


Filed under: Haiti
January 14th, 2010
12:24 PM ET

Growing desperation grips Haitian capital in quake's aftermath

Arthur Brice
CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/14/haiti.elderly.woman.jpg caption="A woman sits amid rubble Tuesday in Port-au-Prince." width=292 height=320]

Haiti's capital awoke to increasing desperation Thursday morning, a day and a half after a devastating earthquake, with covered bodies piling up along streets and modern aspects of life, such as electricity, mostly missing.

The streets of Port-au-Prince resembled grainy black-and-white newsreels from World War II that showed the rubble of bombed-out houses in Berlin and London. The devastation was wide and often horrific.

A one-hour drive from the airport to a walled-in hotel where the CNN contingent is staying revealed the widespread destruction from Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

Flattened and severely damaged houses were found on every block, and the streets were choked with pedestrians and residents. They set up overnight camps and slept by the thousands in dark and crowded parks and on sidewalks, for fear of being inside if another powerful quake hit.

Numerous aftershocks have rattled the capital.

Sporadic gunfire was heard Wednesday night outside the hotel where CNN is lodged.

Sirens could be heard at times, but the predominant sounds in the pre-dawn darkness were the shouts and screams from the thousands of people who spent the night in a dark park across the street. A rooster's crowing could sometimes be heard above the din.

After electricity in the hotel was shut off at 1 a.m., CNN technicians worked on satellite equipment by flashlight.

The hotel resembles a compound, with razor wire topping eight-foot walls and a gated parking lot, guarded by a man wielding an old shotgun. And although the hotel's residents seemed safe, and street violence had not been seen, there was a feeling of apprehension.

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Filed under: Haiti
January 14th, 2010
12:11 PM ET

Twitter Feeds – New updates on Haiti

AC360°
Editors Note: The first wave of international aid landed Thursday in quake-battered Haiti as part of an urgent effort rivaling the worldwide response to the 2004 tsunami. Anderson is live on the ground and reporting on the situation. We are also getting more information from CNN reporters on the ground in Haiti. Follow their tweets here.

Follow Twitter feeds for information on Haiti.


Filed under: Haiti
January 14th, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Haiti earthquake could trigger possible medical 'perfect storm'

Madison Park
CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/HEALTH/01/13/haiti.earthquake.medical.risks/t1larg.haiti.health.jpg caption="Medical experts say the devastation from the Haiti earthquake could affect public health for years."]

The devastation caused by Tuesday's earthquake could decimate what fragile medical care exists and spawn a "perfect storm" in a country already struggling to fight rare tropical and infectious diseases, health experts said.

On Tuesday, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake ripped apart buildings, shearing huge slabs of concrete off structures in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. About 3 million people - one-third of Haiti's population - were affected by the quake, the Red Cross estimated.

The disaster cut power, electricity and other utilities. This could leave people without clean drinking water and at greater risk of malnutrition and disease. The potential new mass of displaced persons could create crowded, unsanitary conditions that facilitate the spread of contagious respiratory infections, said Dr. Peter Hotez, head of the department of microbiology at George Washington University.

"What you have is the perfect storm of infection," Hotez said. "What you have is a breakdown. It is already a fragile infrastructure with high rates of infectious and neglected tropical disease. Now there are potential breakdowns in sanitation, clean water, housing and subsequent crowding. That's a terrible mix."

Even before the earthquake, the country has been the subject of intense public health efforts, as nearly half the causes of deaths have been attributed to HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, meningitis and diarrheal diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

The first medical response would be to find the people who are trapped in the rubble.


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Filed under: Haiti
January 14th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

Aid groups race against time in Haiti

CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/14/haiti-1.jpg]

Countries and aid groups large and small worked Thursday to help survivors in quake-ravaged Haiti in an international effort rivaling the response to the 2004 Asian tsunami.

People dug furiously to rescue loved ones from the rubble of Port-au-Prince as international aid groups scrambled to provide medical care, food and water to tens of thousands after Tuesday's devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

President Obama on Thursday promised the people of Haiti that "you will not be forsaken" or "forgotten."

America and the world "stand with you," he said at the White House. "Today you must know that help is arriving."

Obama said the U.S. military has secured Haiti's main airport, which can now receive relief workers.

Haitian airspace was opened Thursday to charitable organizations, enabling humanitarian aid to be flown in, a Red Cross official said. But the limited infrastructure in Haiti doesn't appear to be able to accommodate the flood of aircraft headed there.

One humanitarian flight from the University of Miami couldn't take off because it couldn't land in Haiti and another was hovering in the air above the country, CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reported in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the next 24 hours "critical to save those lives that can be saved" and said the United States was "moving as quickly as possible."

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Filed under: Haiti
January 14th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

Haiti's faint signs of progress take a vicious blow

Daniel P. Erikson
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/LIVING/01/13/haiti.missing.americans/t1larg.jpg caption="A woman is helped after being pulled out of rubble following a magnitude-7.0 earthquake Tuesday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti."]

Haitians have long been accustomed to the metaphorical earthquakes that have rippled through their proud but troubled country.

Ever since achieving independence in 1804 to become the world's first free black state, Haiti has been beset by turbulent, often violent, politics and a gradual but seemingly unstoppable slide from austerity to poverty to misery.

During the past two centuries, Haiti has experienced 34 coups d'etat, several military interventions by the United States, and the gradual withering of an economic base once dependent on agriculture, manufacturing, and even some tourism.

Still, by Haitian standards, the past decade has been especially tumultuous.

In 2004, the forced ouster of President Jean Bertrand Aristide led to the establishment of a U.N. peacekeeping mission charged with stabilizing the country.

In 2006, Haiti elected President Rene Preval, who was left to grapple with the monumental challenge of leading a nation virtually devoid of functioning institutions. Haiti's precarious location in the path of one of the Caribbean's major hurricane corridors contributed to its devastation by major storms in 2004 and 2008. And now this: A literal earthquake, measuring magnitude 7.0 on the Richter scale, has laid waste to the largest population center, the teeming, vibrant and chaotic capital of Port-au-Prince.

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Filed under: Haiti
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