Young men gather around fallen buildings to dig out corpses. A stream of blood flows into the street indicating there are many under the chunks of broken concrete. A young woman her black body powdered with dust is found. Her long tresses swinging as she is laid on the sidewalk. Now covered with the only available cloth - a Haitian flag, she waits for the morgue truck.
In the second day of Haiti's quake aftermath, the pile of corpses on sidwalks grows and the morgue has still not sent a truck. Probably there is no gasoline for the truck. Until a gas station opens here there will be no truck to collect the victims of Haiti's massive 7.0 earthquake that hit on Tuesday, January 2010 at 7 minutes of 5:00PM. Today a Haitian man sprinkled gasoline on several swollen corpses to burn the stench and disease from his street.
Thousands of Haitians mill in the roads; they are either homeless or afraid to return to their homes. Over forty aftershocks above 4.3 have continued to shake the island nation 800 miles south of Florida. City parks are open air living for families. Cars surround the parks housing more people.
All communcations are down, only satellite phones and internet work. Three cell companies and several wireless providers are all off. If you want to find someone you must go to their house and search.
Yesterday we searched out missionary friends on lower Delmas. They were trying to clean the rubble that was their home. Cupboards hung off the wall and nervously the friend said the damage was cosmetic. Long cracks told another story. The couple had slept in their car the night before as they knew the three story building was unsafe. The total loss of forty years work to build school, church and home was grievious to behold.
Soon the shock of what has happened here in a country that lives with suffering everyday, soon that shock will turn to anger. Haiti needs a coordinated relief effort run by donor nations, the Haitian government itself is in shock and incapable of helping its people. Yesterday when President Preval spoke to the nation he was asked if there would be another quake, everyone's fear, the President did not comfort the nation.
Last night looting was reported in an area near the Haitian penitentary that collapsed releasing thousands of felons into the country. Police presence was non existent and residents are afraid to venture far from what was once their homes.
The US is well positioned to commandeer this organized relief effort. The new Embassy in Port au Prince is the largest, the safest, the most well equipped and located right next to the UN Headquarters. US donors, businesses, government and private are just waiting for a heads up from the State Department. The US needs to take the lead and take it right now before shock turns to violence.