January 18, 2010

  • Rescue efforts continue in Haiti as doctors race to treat the injured
  • In Haiti, aid is delayed at airport as US military coordinates flight access
  • US grants temporary immigration status to Haitians
  • Taliban militants launch coordinated attack in Kabul
  • Billionaire presidential candidate wins Chile’s run-off election

Rescue efforts continue in Haiti as doctors race to treat the injured – 3:21 minutes (3.07 MB)
In Haiti over the weekend, relief workers and civilians continued to save people trapped under collapsed buildings. After more than four days buried under debris, aid workers pulled out the owner of the Hotel Montana, one of the most elite hotels in the city, built on a hillside overlooking Port Au Prince. On Friday, an 18-month old was rescued by an Australian TV crew.

The child’s parents reportedly died. Meanwhile, some are using twitter to get out information about people still trapped under buildings – including Haitian radio DJ Carel Pedre. A tweet Monday afternoon reported, “a lot of students and teachers still alive under the debris of GOC University in Nazon.”

Meanwhile, medical personell continue to try to treat survivors before they die of their injuries. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is with the United Nations. She said they are still getting new patients with various injuries from crushed bones and fractures to gang greene and sepsis, when the bloodstream is infected by bacteria.

“There are approximately 200 patients here now, fifty percent women, thirty percent children. Probably thirty percent of them are in critical condition. There are a lot of new patients coming in today. It’s even busier than yesterday. I can’t tell you how many doctors and nurses are here because there’s not really a uniform system in place to keep track of medical personnel. There are people leaving, going back to Miami on a steady basis, but there are also doctors and nurses coming in from Miami on a steady basis.”

Many of those being treated for injuries have nowhere to go. Vladimir Viki lived in the Mont Nasa neighborhood. He said he was playing cards when the quake hit.

[translated into english] “My home, I can’t remember my home. I live in the second floor. The house on the third floor suddenly fell down, I saw it. That’s why I can’t remember my house. My wife died. But two day’s later my brother found out my daughter was buried under the house. And she was alive. This is a miracle.”

As more bodies are discovered in the ruins, family members and aid workers are struggling to account for and bury the dead. There’s a severe lack of body bags, and people have covered the deceased in the streets with anything they can find, including plastic bags and sheets. Health experts are concerned that the growing numbers of unburied bodies poses Haiti’s next disaster as disease starts to spread.

In Haiti, aid is delayed at airport as US military coordinates flight access – 4:16 minutes (3.91 MB)
Humanitarian aid continues to pour into Haiti, but challenges are slowing the goods from reaching those who need them the most. Planes full of aid have been delayed and vital supplies are stranded on the tarmac, waiting to be distributed. The US military, which is in control of the airport and airspace, says more than 600 planes have landed and taken off in recent days. Haiti’s damaged airport typically deals with only three flights per day. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell has more.

US grants temporary immigration status to Haitians – 5:56 minutes (5.43 MB)
The Department of Homeland Security has granted temporary protected status to Hatians living in the United States. The designation means that undocumented Hatians can now apply for authorization to work legally. There are an estimated 30,000 Haitians in the US who have fled natural disasters and extreme poverty and, until this designation, were facing deportation. Immigration advocates had pushed for the move. They say that remittances – money and support sent back to family members in Haiti – is a key element of long-term recovery following last week’s devastating earthquake.

Here to take a look at how this move could affect the recovery in Haiti and what it means for the broader immigration policy towards Haitians, we’re joined by Fritz Gutwein. He’s the coordinator of Haiti Reborn and the co-director of the Quixote Center, a social justice organization based in the DC area.

Taliban militants launch coordinated attack in Kabul – 3:10 minutes (2.91 MB)
Today Taliban militants launched a coordinated strike against both public and government targets in the heart of Kabul. It’s one of the largest assaults in the capital since the Taliban were removed from power in 2001. FSRN’S Mujahid Jawad reports.

Billionaire presidential candidate wins Chile’s run-off election – 2:26 minutes (2.23 MB)
Chileans went to the polls Sunday in a run off election to determine the next president. Conservative candidate Sebastian Piñera has won and will succeed the center-left government of President Michelle Bachelet, the country’s first female head of state. As FSRN’s Jorge Garretón reports from Santiago, the country moved to the right after 20 years of center left rule.