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Jan 18, 2010

Riots break out in Haiti among earthquake victims

haiti soldiers assistanceAssistance to Haiti continues to surge in the wake of last Tuesday’s earthquake. The International Red Cross says that at least fifty thousand persons have been killed. The destruction to infrastructure is massive, the airport is overwhelmed and unable to process the aid that is pouring into the island and the port is closed due to the damages it experienced. Relief efforts are a logistical nightmare and there is no functioning law and order. In the meantime, desperation grows for food and water among the survivors. A team from our partners in the Caribbean, the CMC, has been deployed to Port au Prince and is providing extensive coverage of the “Horror in Haiti”. Here’s one of their reports.

Fernella Wedderburn, Reporting, CMC News

As government officials, non-governmental organizations and charities around the world continue to rush disaster relief supplies to earthquake stricken Haiti, reports of rioting are fueling security concerns. These concerns are also being blamed upon a delay in distributing food and water.

Earthquake Victim #1  (Translated)

“The way they just dump the food from the helicopters is awful. Most people don’t get any food, people start fighting, banging heads and breaking bones. It’s a complete disorder.”

At this makeshift camp on the golf course of the country club located on the affluent suburbs of Port au Prince, American soldiers deliver their own food rations to the victims. But as the crowd grows more aggressive, they are forced to walk away. At a distribution point a mile away, the World Food Program brought high energy biscuits and food rations only to lock up their truck and move on after the crowd becomes unruly.

Earthquake Victim #2   (Translated)

“I wasn’t one of the ones fighting. I have seven kids and we lost everything. I wasn’t fighting. If they could only give us something. It’s unfair, I’m an adult, I don’t fight.

UN spokesman for the mission in Haiti said that one of the problems is that there is no longer a functioning police force. The National Haitian Police are not visible at all. They have simply vanished, he said, and that the inability for humanitarian organizations to meet the people’s basic needs is limited. He warned that the potential anger among the Haitian population is growing.

Here at home, the Belize Chamber of Commerce announced today it is joining forces with the Belize Red Cross to raise fifty thousand Belize dollars for the earthquake victims and will additionally be hosting a national relief telethon on its business show. As announced on Friday, Channel Five is also holding a concert this Friday night with an impressive line-up of artists, to raise funds to bring hope to Haiti.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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