U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Haiti needs "unprecedented
international support" due to the overwhelming damage and destruction
caused by last week's massive earthquake.
Mr. Ban arrived in Haiti Sunday to see the aid efforts for what he
called "one of the most serious humanitarian crisis in decades." He
says the U.N.'s priorities are coordinating the relief efforts,
providing urgent humanitarian assistance, and saving as many lives as
International aid workers are struggling to deliver desperately needed
water, food and medical supplies to Haitians, five days after the
magnitude 7.0 earthquake.
U.S. Lieutenant General Ken Keen, one of the top commanders overseeing
relief efforts on the ground, says workers are relying on helicopters
to ferry materials because roads are so badly damaged.
The U.S. State Department says American citizens with a valid U.S.
passport should go straight to the airport in the capital,
Port-au-Prince, if they want to be evacuated.
Haitian officials said some 40,000 corpses have been buried in mass
graves and predicted the death toll could reach as high as 200,000.
Mr. Ban will tour the ruins of the U.N. headquarters that collapsed during the quake and buried several employees.
Mr. Ban said the United Nations should "prepare for the worst"
regarding U.N. casualties in Haiti. Several dozen UN personnel are
dead, and about 300 are missing.
The United Nations on Saturday confirmed the death of Hedi Annabi, the
U.N. special representative in Haiti and his deputy Luiz Carlos da
Costa. Their bodies were found inside the collapsed U.N. headquarters
along with that of Acting U.N. Police Commissioner in Haiti, Doug
Meanwhile, a Red Cross spokesman (Matthew Cochrane) said
Sunday aid operations have not given much attention to areas outside of
the capital because they are difficult to reach. But, he says,
preliminary assessments show the earthquake destroyed more than 80
percent of the southwestern town of Leogane and about half of the
nearby town of Gressier.
Rescue crews from more than 30 nations continue searching through the
remains of collapsed buildings for survivors, amid fears that those
trapped may not be rescued in time.
Diplomatic squabbles broke out Saturday as France accused the United
States of exerting too much control over which flights are allowed to
land at the airport in Port-au-Prince.
And some survivors began leaving the devastated capital on foot Saturday, as reports of violence and looting beset the city.