January 15th, 2010
09:59 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Rescue efforts continue

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/TECH/01/14/haiti.web.personal.stories/smlvid.haiti.house.afp.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Rescue efforts continue in earnest in Haiti today. Disaster and emergency experts warn that time is critical, as most people killed in an earthquake die within the first 72 hours.

So far the relief efforts have been chaotic due to a lack of resources and infrastructure. Emergency workers face a race against the clock to save people who are still trapped under the rubble. But as you saw in reports from Anderson, Gary Tuchman, Ivan Watson and Dr. Sanjay Gupta last night, there can still be some good news amid the devastation and tragedy. One woman trapped for 50 hours under the rubble was rescued and freed last night.

Today, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will arrive on the coast of Haiti, carrying 19 helicopters and 30 pallets of relief goods, according to an Air Force General. Between 2,000 and 5,000 U.S. Marines will help the international peacekeepers who have served as police in Haiti.

Still, aid agencies continue to struggle to get relief items from the Port-au-Prince airport. One relief worker with the organization World Vision said “it is problematic to get the streets clear … there was a mile-long line to get gasoline. We are short on the basics.” According to reports this morning, diesel fuel is selling on the black market in Port-au-Prince for $25 a gallon. It usually sells for $3 a gallon. We’ll keep reporting on how aid will be distributed to people in need.

In the 48 hours since the earthquake struck Haiti, the American Red Cross has received nearly $35 million in donations. The State Department reported that as of Thursday evening the total donations received for Haiti humanitarian relief through the SMS campaign – texting 90999 – is $5.9 million.

CNN has become the place people are going to look for information about the missing. Are you looking for a loved one in Haiti? Let us know here. We’re also broadcasting messages from people in Haiti who are trying to reach people abroad.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former Haitian president who has been exiled in South Africa for nearly six years, said today that he was ready to return to his native country. Aristide apparently called reporters to a hotel near Johannesburg’s international airport to say that he was ready to go. Aristide was Haiti’s first democratically-elected leader and was installed by a multinational force led by U.S. soldiers in 1994. But by 2004 he was accused of corruption, U.S. Marines entered the country to maintain order and he found safe haven in South Africa. Haiti’s current president, René Préval, was a longtime associate of Aristide.

And today is the one year anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson. It seems like only months ago, but it was January 15, 2009, when Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger – the airline caption – guided the stricken U.S. Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people on board. Passengers and rescuers are scheduled to take a boat out to the spot where the plane landed. At 3:31 p.m. ET, the exact time of the impact, the passengers will raise a toast to life.

What questions do you have about the situation in Haiti? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Maria H-Miami

    I'm sorry but to me everything our government is doing seems very disorganized and running late. I've only been watching CNN and Dr. Gupta seems to be the only one that knows what he is doing and is moving quickly around town to give medical help to the victims and also the Miami Search and Rescue teams. I would have thought that our military ships that carry medical facilities, military medical teams would have been there within hours of the earthquake. Haiti is not that far. Dr. Gupta should be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for all that he does regardless of danger, conditions.

    January 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  2. Christine Seeba

    Do news people take their own supplies? Where are u sleeping?

    January 15, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  3. Andre

    I like to give thanks to all of those who have given their time and kind support towards the cause in Haiti. I am aware of the critical situation in which the country is in, and the hard conditions to try to get to the people in need. It is of great appreciation, I would like to call out to the rest of the world as well, to hear our cry in these difficult times and show their compassion. I would like to stress, that all the aid and help is still not enough, there are some cities where no help has arrive yet and urgent assistance is deeply needed. Some of those cities are: Leogane, Jacmel, Grand-Goave, Petit-Goave, Miragoane.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  4. Isabel - Brazil.

    Hello Eliza!!!

    Happy Friday ... happy as much as possible!

    There are reports that Haitians, angry over delay of help, they block roads with bodies. Logistical difficulties prevent all receive help and they are burning bodies. Is it fact?

    You will report about that today? Show us the revolt of the people!
    This revolt is perfectly understandable. People are hungry, thirsty, they have no place, and lost everything and they can not envision a new beginning.

    The largest TV network in Brazil showed the rescue of Dr Gupta the girl of only 15 days and every time I review the scene, I am moved!

    The work of CNN is impressive. You all are bringing news and helping people. Congratulations and thank you!

    January 15, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  5. Supercuco

    Where are the goverment authorities from Haiti? I don't see anyone, a police, a firefighter a soldier a teacher even the President.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  6. Andrea

    Is Sanjay Gupta providing care while he is there in addition to acting as a reporter? We saw him help the newborn yesterday, but is he helping others as well? We are seeing him walk by describing people with broken bones whose friends are trying to set them – off camera is he helping?

    January 15, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  7. Sr. Jane McDowell

    Does anyone know anything about Sr. Judy Dohner? She is a nurse in Fondwa but it probably in Port-au-Prince now. Please let me know anything about how she is. Thanks

    January 15, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  8. alice

    Will the Haitian government put building codes in place, so when they do rebuild, this type of destruction won't be as severe if another quake hits?

    January 15, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  9. jtwoz2

    I can't imagine how heavy your heart is with all that destruction around u. It was hard for me to sleep last night in my bed knowing what the people of haiti r going through. Thanks for your dedication.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  10. Vickey

    We have several doctors coming from Dallas with supplies from what I hear.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  11. Gerry Oborn

    Where is Rene Preval? Why is his isn't he showing some kind of presence?

    January 15, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  12. Dick

    If some of the news men bothered to take what is called a Porta Power with them, it would be an invaluable aid to rescuing some of thos trapped.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  13. Tim Gibson

    Why would an exiled former Haitian president, who found his seat by force led by U.S. soldiers and left to safety in South Africa after U.S. Marines made a path of escape available for him stand up now and say he is ready to return to his native country? This should be discouraged by the U.N.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  14. Dave

    Military needs to build an additional runway so all this help can land in Haiti.

    Built another aircraft runway.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:05 am |