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Campbell Brown

Haiti in Ruins

Aired January 13, 2010 - 20:00   ET


CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody.

Tonight, Haiti, a nation in ruins. You are looking at some of the heartbreaking images we are going to show you tonight. This is a country of the dead and of the walking wounded. The numbers are staggering. Haiti's president tells CNN he's hearing reports that up to 50,000 people have died. The country's prime minister warns the death toll could stretch even higher, into the hundreds of thousands.

And this Coast Guard video we're about to show you provides a bird's-eye view of the extent of the devastation. There, you're seeing it now. The capital city of Port-au-Prince has been flattened. There is no power. There is no water. Bodies are stacked in the streets.

And what we're seeing tonight is a humanitarian crisis of the first magnitude. Those hospitals that haven't collapsed are completely overwhelmed. The Red Cross says medical supplies have run out, an estimated three million people affected.

Meantime, the State Department struggling to account for the 45,000 American citizens in Haiti tonight. So far, officials have only made contact with about 200 of them.

Tonight, we have a full team of CNN correspondents on the ground in Haiti, reporting on the chaotic aftermath of the natural disaster and the desperate search for survivors that continues at this hour.

Anderson Cooper was among the first American journalists to arrive in Haiti's capital city of Port-au-Prince. He saw death and destruction everywhere he looked. But he also saw people quickly moving to save themselves by any means necessary. Take a listen.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": I have got to tell you, the human drama, which is occurring here on every single street is extraordinary, no matter what street you go down in this area, there is someone trying to be rescued. There are flattened buildings with small groups of neighbors and family literally digging through the rubble, digging through concrete with their hands, with their fingers.

Occasionally, you see a shovel or pickax or a chisel. It is slow, laborious work. And it is often unsuccessful work. Many times the voices which were crying out hours ago are now silent. I have just seen a remarkable rescue of a young girl named Bea (ph). She was 13 years old.

This happened just about a block from the national palace. She was in a building trapped since last night. They discovered her this morning. They had been trying to dig for her for several hours. I just happened upon the scene about 30 minutes ago. You could see two of her feet. You could hear her crying out. And there was a lot of arguing over how to try to get her out.

They were literally just digging with their hands. And just an extraordinary moment, a few moments ago, they pulled her out. She's alive. She's well. Four members of her family are dead. They are piled up right outside the destroyed building where she was rescued from.

But it's one small victory on the street which has seen so much misery. There are bodies I don't want to say on every block, but every few blocks, you see a white shroud on a street corner or in the gutter, and you know it's a body, or three bodies, or four bodies. Sometimes, they're not even covered in shrouds. They're just laid out like that.

I just saw what must have been probably a 5-year-old, 6-year-old girl whose body was covered by part of a cardboard box. It's a somber sight here. And people are just kind of milling around. They don't have anywhere to go. Their homes are destroyed. Some of them have just been sleeping out on the streets or open fields under tents.

I talked to one man who said he's just walking around. He doesn't know what else to do. He doesn't have water. He's not sure where to go or what happens now. He wanted his three kids in America to know that he was alive, and that's why he was talking to me.

I mean, the only thing to compare this to is Hurricane Katrina. But I can tell you, in the last 30 minutes, over the last hour that I have been driving, I have seen probably 20 to 25 bodies on the streets. And that's just on main avenues in downtown Port-au-Prince.

Literally, as we're speaking, a man is -- this is incredible -- a man is pushing a wheelbarrow. And in the wheelbarrow is what looks like a teenager wrapped in a shroud dead. He's taking her I think to the hospital, because that's what is later on down this street. That's where I'm headed next.

But I have seen people walking with coffins over their heads. I have seen a man walking with an old lady in a wheelbarrow as well. There's not a sense of -- you know, of what's happening next. People are literally just trying to get through today. I don't even know that people can think about what happens tomorrow.


BROWN: And, again, that was Anderson Cooper for us from Port-au- Prince.

I mean, there are so many powerful stories and pictures coming out of Haiti tonight. CNN's Ivan Watson went to a clinic where earthquake survivors are crowding the hallways, pleading for help. And I do want to warn you that some of this that you're about to see is difficult to watch.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the reality of the situation here in Port-au-Prince. This is a small medical clinic. There are so many patients, so many victims of this earthquake that they are treating them in the halls and the entryway of the clinic.

And look here. We have wounded people waiting for treatment right now. Let's take a look at this woman right here.

This is Amelika (ph). She says that her leg is broken and she's been here since last night waiting for treatment. And she's not the only one. If we come and take a look over here, there are more wounded people and even the corpse of a small child who could not get treatment.

And it is just overwhelming to see over here the bodies of at least 13 people stacked up on the sidewalk right outside. We have seen these images elsewhere in this overwhelmed city right now. Doctors are telling me they don't have enough medicine to treat these patients. They don't have enough gas to run the generators, to run the medical machines to treat these patients.

And the people of Port-au-Prince are out in the streets, not in their homes, for fear that they, too, could become victims of this earthquake if the aftershocks bring down what's left of their homes.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Port-au-Prince, in Haiti.


BROWN: And Ivan is back with us now. He's joining us live from Port-au-Prince.

And, Ivan, the images are -- are incredibly difficult to watch. Describe to all of us what's happening there right now.

WATSON: Well, not only have the rescue services and the hospitals here been completely overwhelmed, Campbell, but also the cell phone network has collapsed. Nobody has any way of communicating with each other. This capital city is completely cut off from communication.

And, on top of that, the electric grid has collapsed completely. So,, it's nighttime here. The city is almost completely dark. And you may be able to hear behind me there are thousands of people in this square. The people of Port-au-Prince are not in their homes tonight.

They're out in the streets. They're in this square behind me, thousands of them, sleeping under the stars, in the case here behind me, some people clapping, singing, praying, too scared to go under any kind of enclosed structure, because aftershocks are still hitting the city.

I have to say, they are terrifying, especially to people who have already felt the wounds as a result of falling rubble as a result of yesterday's earthquake -- Campbell.

BROWN: And, Ivan, do you get the sense that help is on the way, that people are being treated? We have heard that aid agencies are struggling to get to certain areas, obviously, and to certain people who really need it.

WATSON: I'm not getting that sense so far.

And a man came up to me, and he said, can you help my brother? His leg is broken. And the guy was laying on the sidewalk with a crudely splinted leg. People were carrying their wounded relatives around on doors, trying to find, desperately, some kind of doctor.

I went to one makeshift hospital. A man pulled me aside. His son had his eye swollen like this. This was a 9-year-old boy. And he asked me, can you please find me a doctor? And this was at a hotel. All they had there was an EMT treating these wounded people. And there were more than 100 people lying in the parking lot of that hotel. It is a very grim situation here right now, Campbell.

BROWN: Ivan Watson for us tonight.

You are going to hear me say this a lot tonight. They obviously need help. They obviously need money and supplies, the relief organizations that are heading in now. You can go to On our Web site, we have outlined all the various relief organizations that are doing work there. Right now, what most of them are saying right now is that they need cash. Go to the Web site, take a look and certainly be generous, given what we're seeing.

A lot more to come. We're going to take a quick break. We will be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We slept last night on the ground. And there was probably 50, 60 tremors all night long, and some of them were very bad. So, all the babies were crying, and it was a very scary experience. We have no place to sleep. We slept on the ground last night. And we're trying to get out of here.



BROWN: As we have been telling you now, the early reports are that thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people have been killed, so much of the country in chaos. Hard to nail down a precise number.

Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke to Haiti's president earlier today. Listen to this interview.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What are you doing here at the airport?


GUPTA: Are you able to live in the palace, or is it completely destroyed?

PREVAL: I cannot live in the palace. I cannot live in my own house, because the two collapsed.

GUPTA: Where are you going to go tonight?

PREVAL: I don't know.

GUPTA: It is striking. The president of this country doesn't know where he's going to sleep tonight.

PREVAL: No. I have plenty of time to look for a bed, but now I am working how to rescue the people. But sleeping is not a problem.

GUPTA: Well, what have you seen with your own eyes? How bad a situation is it?

PREVAL: It's incredible. You have to see it to believe it, a lot of houses destroyed, hospital, schools, the personal homes, a lot of people in the street dead.

GUPTA: You have seen this with your own eyes?

PREVAL: The earthquake took place yesterday at 5:00 in the -- and I'm still...

GUPTA: In your same clothing.

PREVAL: ... looking for -- to understand the magnitude of the event and how to manage it.

GUPTA: Well, what is the worst thing -- what is the worst thing that you saw so far?

PREVAL: People in the street for two days now, and we don't have the capacity to bring them to the hospital.


BROWN: And Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is joining me live right now from Port-au-Prince.

And, Sanjay, they're telling me that you're hearing gunshots. Tell us what's going on where you are.

GUPTA: Yes. We were all set up for the live shot with you, Campbell, had our lights on and everything. And then just down below me here, there are crowds of people that are gathered. These are people that staying apparently in this plaza. They have been here as long as we have been here.

And we heard several gunshots, the most recently just a few seconds ago, from just behind me. So, just to be safe, we brought everything down, lowered the lights, so we're not drawing any attention.

There are more right now, Campbell, even as I'm talking to you. It was interesting, because when we were going through Port-au-Prince today, there was really the sense that people felt sort of stunned still by everything that was happening.

And having been to Haiti several times in the past, I was a little bit surprised that there wasn't more sort of this anxiety, this behavior of violence that I might have expected. It seems like it may be starting up. We're hearing more noise. We're hearing these gunshots, obviously. That's part of the reason we're crouched down like this right now, Campbell.

BROWN: Well, and the chief of police I know on the air earlier today talked about real security concerns on this second night, with everyone not having any place to stay, people out in the streets, more than 1,000 prisoners who had escaped, given the collapses.

I mean, I have a feeling that that's your sense, is that it has shifted into sort of this different kind of chaos.

GUPTA: Yes. It really does seem to be shifting.

And it's interesting, because I as a reporter have never been to a situation this soon after the disaster has occurred. We were here within 12 to 15 hours. And, you know, just this morbid sense -- you know, there are still so many bodies in the streets, and people still trying to recover bodies from underneath rubble.

But now you do sort of sense this change a little bit, people obviously feeling desperate, a lot of people not going to their homes, Campbell, because still there are aftershocks that are happening around here as well. So, they're worried that their homes may be a dangerous place.

So, they're sort of congregating in these various plazas, like the one that's just below me. You can't see it, but I can hear thousands of voices down there. And, again, some of that violent behavior seems to be emerging. Obviously, darkness as well seems to have brought that out to some degree.

BROWN: And, Sanjay, you're a doctor. We have heard numerous times today people talk about the shortage of medical supplies and help. Is there any sense that the government or whatever infrastructure exists there in Port-au-Prince is starting to get it together a little bit to be able to respond, or not at all?

GUPTA: You know, I really wish that I could answer yes to that question, Campbell, but I can't, not right now.

Let me just give you a few examples. Simply getting through the streets to collect the dead bodies is seemingly an impossible task. There's hardly any heavy machinery to try and dig through this rubble. People are literally doing it by hand. The hospitals themselves, the destination of those patients who might survive, they're just -- they're nonexistent or have a terrible infrastructure.

I talked to the president himself about this very issue. And I have to say, it was somewhat -- it was tough to hear a president of a country talk in sort of these hopeless tones. I think that there will be a recovery, but it's certainly not over the next couple of days, not seemingly, in anybody's sense, maybe over weeks and months.

And they have a lot of work to do, starting with the most basic (INAUDIBLE) things, getting the bodies moved, getting people back to their homes. That's just the beginning.

BROWN: And are you seeing aid organizations on the ground working and operating at all?

GUPTA: The best news that I think I saw today was there were some aid organizations that were in fact landing at the airport here in Port-au-Prince.

As you know, Campbell, even last night, there was confusion about whether the airport would be open. The tower had been damaged. But they did come up with some alternative, alternate provisions to try and get these airplanes in.

So, when we came in, landed at that Port-au-Prince airport, there were rescue planes coming in. There were these planes coming in with big pallets of supplies. I think the supplies are getting here to Port-au-Prince.

What seems to be really difficult is getting them from the airport to the people who need them the most, again, the roads nearly impossible to traverse. There's hardly any gasoline to power these vehicles. Every gas station we saw was closed. Now, there was some gas at the airport, but I don't know how long that's going to last.

You know, I don't want to make this sound like a dismal situation, but we're literally here trying to do a live shot and we're hearing gunshots and this violence starting to emerge, as opposed to things starting to head in a more positive direction.

BROWN: Sanjay, all day, we were also watching this search-and- rescue operation, which essentially it is, I mean, of people doing it themselves, looking for friends and family.

Obviously, is that still going on? I mean, I know you're sort of stuck where you are, given what seems to happening around you, but, given nightfall, is it too dangerous? Are people still out sort of digging through the rubble trying to get to the survivors?

GUPTA: Very much so. I think that these are individual family members that are doing this.

And, you know, as a lot of the reporters have seen today, myself included, these are some of the most heartbreaking images you can imagine, Campbell. I was walking outside some of these buildings where family members are trying to dig through the rubble. Literally, I saw these three children's bodies that were covered up. But there were three children.

I have three children, just very disturbing, what families are being forced to do. There's not the sort of aid, as you asked about earlier, to help get these people rescued. It's just -- it's very tough to see them. I covered disasters, as have you, Campbell, all over the world. I was in Pakistan after the earthquake.

Something different here, in part I think because we're here so soon and in part because this was such a devastated country to begin with. The infrastructure was so terrible to start. It seems so difficult to sort of come out from underneath that.

BROWN: And that's such an important point to make, I think, for everybody to fully appreciate, Sanjay, and Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, 80 percent of the population there living in poverty. For this to happen, it is just such an overwhelming, seemingly overwhelming, situation for them to be able to deal with.

GUPTA: Right.

I asked the president if this was the worst thing that he had ever seen happen in Haiti. And he literally just put his hands to his head and sort of shook his head. I think he was trying to tell me yes, but you know what, it's always been pretty bad here, is sort of what he was saying to me.

You know, Campbell, when we were flying in today, this is such a beautiful place in so many ways as well. You go through the mountainside, you look at the confluence of the ocean and the land here. There are so many beautiful parts of this country. But what we're seeing here in Port-au-Prince as a result of this earthquake is some of the worst devastation that I have seen, including the tsunami, including that earthquake in Pakistan.

It is -- and I don't quite know -- and I try to think how solutions are going to emerge, but I don't quite know how this is going to fix itself over the next several days and weeks.

BROWN: And we're going to hear more about that from the State Department.

Just before we let you go, Sanjay, just communication, we have been able to talk to you tonight, which is a big step in the right direction. We have had such issues with communication. I know people continue to -- also mobility. Are you able to move around at all? Obviously, given the safety issues, not right at this moment, but what's it like, given the situation with the roads?

GUPTA: Well, we did travel by road from the airport to this location earlier today, when there was still light out.

There's always concern about a mob mentality. Any time we're driving through, we are, as you know, driving through with lots of equipment. There is concern that, will there be on attack on the vehicle of some sort? So, we're trying to be as careful as possible.

But, again, a lot of this, just sort of reading the mentality of the people around you, I think it was very much a feeling of people just being so stunned still by what had happened over the last day. But the shift is starting to occur. So, we will have to see what tomorrow brings. And how people are acting tomorrow may be very different from today.

BROWN: And it's certainly a race against time, trying to get to the survivors, and a race against time to get aid to the people who have survived, clearly, food and water, a very desperate situation.

Sanjay Gupta, please stay safe.

We will be talking to Sanjay obviously throughout the night here.

Appreciate it.

Just to sort of bring you up to date on some of the facts, I mentioned it being a race against time in the search for survivors. About 90 percent of earthquake survivors are generally rescued within the first 24 hours. And from our research, typically, the chance of finding survivors dwindles after three or four days.

But just listen to this. Take maybe some solace in this. Even then, there is some hope. The longest reported case of an earthquake survivor being rescued is 14 days.

We have a lot more to tell you about. And, again, I'm going to say this throughout the night, at, all the information you need about how you can help to give money to some of these relief organizations that are trying to get in there.

We will be back in just a moment.


BROWN: Again, you are looking at the images that are coming in today from Haiti, a horrible situation. You have been seeing the pictures probably all day today.

We are going to bring in right now Maggie Boyer. She's joining us from Port-au-Prince. She's the communications director for World Vision. This is a missionary group doing work in Haiti. Needless to say, they and many others have an enormous, enormous challenge on their hands.

Maggie, pictures coming in are shocking, people literally with nowhere to go. Where are they seeking shelter? What can be done at this stage? Is there shelter to be found?

MAGGIE BOYER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, WORLD VISION: Yes. Thank you for the opportunity to share with CNN viewers.

Indeed, there are many people whose homes have been destroyed or have just disappeared in the quake last night. And most of them are just heading towards the mountains. You know, as you may know, Port- au-Prince is a very mountainous city. And many people who -- the people who suffered the brunt of the quake and the people who suffered severe damages were living in the low area of the city.

And many of them all day have just been going up the mountains, going back to their parents' home, going back to the communities from which they came, and, in some cases, just going back to friends' houses and neighbors, just find somewhere safe and somewhere where they feel that they can be safe again.

The other option that is sprouting over -- in a couple of areas over the city is that in the public parks, people have just come out and set up shop. They have tents and they have chairs and they have light mattresses, trying to find somewhere safe, because, in some cases, even where they are -- when they do have homes, they simply do not feel confident that it will not come tumbling down. So, they are still not sleeping in their homes, for many people.

BROWN: And, Maggie, we have been hearing these reports that medical help is almost nonexistent. What can you tell us about that?

BOYER: I can tell you that there is a great need for medical supply.

I -- in driving around the city a bit this evening, I went to one of -- to a small community hospital where there is one lone nurse who was trying to take care of some victims who had come in from the quake. And she said to me: "I tried to help them, but the comfort I can give them is so little. I'm just out of so much that I need. And there is just not very much I -- I can do at this moment."

So, that would -- that would -- that would be true, I think, in many cases, that there are supplies that are running low and medical personnel, Haitian and otherwise, trying to meet -- trying to meet the needs of victims and they're having a very hard time doing so.

BROWN: Maggie, when do you expect to be in a better position to help people? Do you have any sense for when you may be getting some supplies?

BOYER: I know that the government has kind of got close around a couple of its buildings. A couple of those buildings have sustained heavy damages, and I know the U.N. is also dealing with some (INAUDIBLE) news this evening. So World Vision and other organizations are already on the ground, even World Vision distributed some basic supplies to victims of the quake such as blankets and baby bottles and water bottles and just kitchen items and toothpaste and toothbrushes.

So there are organizations already on the ground working. And that is likely to get better, I think, as the government is able to start the coordinating process among the many, many organizations and other key partners and players that would very much like to help in this situation. And that they're doing it already.

BROWN: Well, Maggie, we appreciate your time and you coming on and talking to us a little bit about what World Vision is doing. Thank you for your time tonight.

Something for everybody to consider tonight is the plight of Haiti's children. Fifty percent of the population is under 18 years old, 39 percent under 15 years old. And that means tonight that thousands of children are literally wandering the streets of Haiti. They are wounded and desperate for help.

So once again -- again, I'm going to sound like a broken record, how you can help the victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake. Go to for all the information about the many organizations that are there operating on the ground, trying to bring aid to those people. We'll be back in just a moment.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share. With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us and a long history that binds us together, Haitians are our neighbors in the Americas and here at home.



BROWN: That was from earlier today, but tonight, thousands of Haitians are facing a second night out on the streets of their blacked-out capital city, surrounded by the rubble of what used to be their homes.

Gary Tuchman is joining us live right now in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with more. And, Gary, I've been told that you just felt an aftershock. What's going on?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A minute and a half ago, Campbell, we felt an aftershock and that's the third one we felt in the last three hours. The one we felt an hour ago was fairly substantial, and that's the main reason that thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Haitians are out in the streets tonight, out in the parks afraid to go back in their homes, if they have homes, because the fear is that there'll be an aftershock that brings down more buildings. And it's absolutely possible because we felt a substantial aftershock.

A couple of hours ago we were standing outside taking pictures of a restaurant that had been destroyed, but there's still part of it standing on a pillar. When the aftershock came, I saw the pillar started shaking. We started to run. So it absolutely can happen because there's so many precarious buildings here in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince.

You know last night, Campbell, I saw you in the lobby of Time Warner Center. Twenty-four hours later, I feel like I'm a different planet.

It's after and before (ph), we knew this would be a bad scene when we got here. But we have seen so many bodies of men, women, old people, young children in the streets.

What the citizens have been doing have been covering the bodies with sheets to give them some respect, but they haven't been removed for the most part. Those that have been removed are put on the back of trucks. Piles of bodies in trucks and wheelbarrows. It's hard to talk about, but that is what's happening here in Haiti.

And people are concerned about health issues because you're talking about temperatures that were 90 degrees Fahrenheit today. It's supposed to be 90 degrees again tomorrow, so people are concerned about that. They're concerned about the possibility of more tremors and the fact that there are no businesses open whatsoever here in the capital. So people are getting hungry, they are getting thirsty.

There's concern, and I have to mention this. This hasn't happened as far as we know, about the possibility of civil unrest tonight, because people are thirsty and hungry, they're outdoors. So there are a lot of problems here. And the fact is right now, we may never know how many people were killed in this earthquake.

I talked to the prime minister of Haiti today. He told us, and we asked him to repeat this several times to make sure we're hearing him right that he thought at least 100,000 people may have died.

I will tell you I'm not an expert on doing this. I don't think it's that many because there are two million people who live in the capital city, so I doubt the high percentage. But you can an be sure there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people who perished and many more are hurt. And as you mentioned earlier in the program, the hospitals are full. It's hard to get medical care. We have seen people who have lost feet and hands getting medical care on a sidewalk. It's a very sad story. Very disturbing.

BROWN: An unbelievable situation, Gary. And we talked to Sanjay Gupta just a bit ago who is actually hearing gunshots where they were. I don't know in relation to where you are now, how far away you are. But you talked about the possibility of civil unrest. He is already seeing that in certain parts of the city. You wonder, you know, how long people can go without food, water, medical help, before things get really desperate.

TUCHMAN: Well, you have a combination. You have no food and water. You have utter darkness, and there's no hope of the power being turned on in a long time. And we don't see any police, fire officials, emergency officials in the streets.

The bodies aren't being removed by them. You have people looking for survivors, but it's the people who are living in the neighborhoods. They don't have machineries, they don't have tools. They're lifting up blocks that weigh hundreds of pounds, trying to find survivors. They're doing it all themselves. There's a lot of frustration, sadness, plight (ph), no food, no water, no lights. And it's a formula for a lot of problems.

BROWN: Gary Tuchman with us tonight. Gary, stay safe. Appreciate it, Gary.

An estimated 45,000 U.S. citizens we should tell you who are currently in Haiti. The U.S. embassy says only a few hundred have turned up. And right now, U.S. citizens are being told to stay put until evacuation plans are worked out. And so for a little bit on that angle of the story, we do want to go to Washington and CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty who's been looking into this for us.

Jill, what do you know?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Campbell, you know, the airport is definitely a place that they're looking at right now. There could be an evacuation point for Americans, but they are saying don't go to the airport yet. Stay tight, be safe and there will be further information.

The other thing is that the U.S. embassy is really one of the only buildings that has been left standing. It's become kind of a central hub for the action that's going on right now, including communicating with those Americans. There are, we understand, three possible deaths among the Americans that has not been confirmed yet.

And then finally, very important, the search and rescue teams that are coming in from the United States, there are three of them. We believe that they should be on the ground. Today, there were more coming. There will be search and rescue also coming from other countries, the British, the French.

And then finally, the last thing, Secretary Clinton cutting short her trip to Asia and the Pacific, coming back here to the State Department to work on this very, very important and what's going to be a massive rescue operation.

BROWN: All right. Jill Dougherty for us tonight from Washington. Jill, thanks very much.

A lot more ahead. Again, as we've been mentioning, for all the information on the aid agencies that desperately need your help as they try to get down there to help. We'll be back in just a moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I've seen people walking with coffins over their head. I've seen a man walking with an old lady in a wheelbarrow as well. There's not a sense of, you know, what's going to happen next. People are literally just trying to get through today. I don't even know if people can think about what happens tomorrow.



BROWN: Some unbelievable images, Haiti tonight, a country in chaos. Reeling in the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake, the worst in more than two centuries.

I want you to look at this picture now. This was the presidential palace in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. This is before the natural disaster struck. And this is what it looks like today. It is in absolute ruins.

Haitian President Rene Preval told CNN's Sanjay Gupta he doesn't know where he will sleep tonight. He says his top priority is search and rescue and air traffic control. Today, cargo planes began landing at Haiti's main airport as foreign aid started to flow into this shattered country, which is a little bit of good news here.

Hundreds of thousands of people are feared dead. There is an international effort under way to try to rescue the survivors. Obviously, the clock is ticking here. Teams from China, Russia, Britain, just to name a few on their way to the scene.

The Obama administration has dispatched ships from the Navy and from the Coast Guard. An American aircraft carrier on its way to Haiti, expected to arrive tomorrow. Meantime, the State Department is working on plans to try to evacuate citizens trapped in Haiti for now. They are urging Americans to seek shelter and await further instructions.

We want to go to Anderson Cooper who is in Port-au-Prince for us live tonight. Anderson, tell us what it's been like.

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, CNN'S "AC 360": Campbell, it is, as you know and as you've heard from Gary Tuchman and others, it has been an extraordinarily difficult day here for the people here of Port-au- Prince. I've been to a lot of disasters. I haven't seen anything quite like this.

I saw major city so close to the epicenter, a city where block after block you find bodies just pushed along the side of the road. And you find people standing near the bodies, family members, loved ones who don't know what else to do. They don't want to leave their loved ones. And they show you pictures of them sometimes.

One man showed me an American passport of a lady who he believed was dead, trapped inside a building. It is a very somber and strange and frightening experience to be here. And for the Haitian people, for the people of Port-au-Prince, tonight is a difficult night indeed.

As Gary Tuchman told you, we are still feeling aftershocks. There are a lot of people sleeping. We're very close to a park tonight. There's a lot of sleeping in that park tonight. And every time there's a big aftershock, you actually hear from blocks away screams and frightened cries going up. And it's a wailing, it's an incredibly eerie sound to here in the darkness right after an aftershock. People can't go back into their homes. They're fearful their homes are still going to collapse. And there are still people at this hour trapped in the rubble who may still be alive.

We found a 13-year-old girl. We came upon a scene where a number of people were trying to rescue a little 13-year-old girl who's trapped in the rubble. You could see was her feet and remarkably after some 18 hours, she was pulled out alive. And you have four of her family members lay dead on the street just outside. So incredible scenes, block after block after block, building after building, no matter where you turn, no matter where you point your camera, Campbell.

BROWN: And Sanjay -- sorry, Anderson, Sanjay was talking to us a little bit earlier. He's also there in Port-au-Prince in a different location. He was hearing gunshots where he was. And he described how, you know, the feeling, I guess the atmosphere is shifting into this feeling a little bit of chaos and desperation. Are you beginning to sense that?

COOPER: You sense it in pockets. I've sensed it throughout the day. You know, some people get very angry if you point your camera at them. And, of course, in that case, we don't.

A lot of people want their stories to be told. They come up to you and they want to pass a message to a loved one in the United States or somewhere around the world. So many people come up to you and say, you know, please, can you call my wife and tell her I'm alive? That's the only message. I'm alive, I'm safe.

But there is -- you know, these things can turn very quickly. And as hours turn into days and we're now coming into day two of this, and you still are not seeing heavy earth-moving equipment, I mean, I'm not sure what state the Haitian government is in. I mean, I've seen the presidential palace. And so I have a sense.

And I know Sanjay talked to the president who said, you know, he doesn't know where he's going to sleep tonight. But there are a lot of patients who don't expect their government to really be much help. And they haven't seen really any help, you know, at this point. This is the relief efforts and rescue efforts that we have seen have all been family members and neighbors who are literally --

BROWN: We lost his shot. That was Anderson Cooper. Obviously reporting from Port-au-Prince.

As you can imagine, communications have been very difficult. Just us communicating with our people, you can imagine what it's like in the country, as friends and family members try to track each other down and find out if family is OK. People in the United States have been contacting us to try to find out whether certain family members in Haiti are OK. It is unfortunately going to be quite some time, I think, before you see communications up and running again and people able to connect once again, power outages as well. So the place is pitch black dark at this hour. We've got a lot more ahead. We're going to take another quick break. Again, on our Web site, A lot of information about the aid organizations that are trying to get help down there. We'll be right back.


BROWN: As the pictures make clear, Haiti's capital city of Port- au-Prince in ruins tonight. You have to see it to believe it, how bad it is, from what we've been hearing from our correspondents.

CNN's Susan Candiotti arrived in the country this morning, and she gives us a bird's-eye view of the destruction. Take a look at this.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So as soon as we land, we're going to report live as to what's going on. We're finally getting on to a helicopter in Santo Domingo to make our way to Port- au-Prince. Let's go.

We're on our way. We just took off from Santo Domingo and now we are headed for Haiti. As you know, the two countries share a common border. When we pass that border and get closer to Port-au-Prince, we ought to be able to start to see much of the damage from the earthquake.

Looking over here, I see smoke. Can we get a little closer to that area so I can see where the smoke is coming from? And we're going to try to look to see if some of the homes -- I do see some cars on the highway. I shouldn't say highway. I should see some cars passing on the road.

Most of these roads are very bumpy, very rocky. There are not -- there are not a lot of paved roads here. There's a house here that he is saying collapsed. We're circling around.

Here's a collapsed house that we're coming around right here. Here's another one, right down here. You can just see the pancaking that took place there. There is no way of knowing at this time whether anyone was inside their house.

We see a lot of evidence of that now. Bricks collapsed. There's another one. You could see the steel, the rebar remaining of some of these things. Occasionally I can see people standing below.


BROWN: And Susan is joining us live right now also in Port-au- Prince tonight. And, Susan, we've been getting different perspectives from the various correspondents on the ground. Describe what you've been seeing.

CANDIOTTI: Yes, I've heard them all. And I think that after we took that aerial tour of the Port-au-Prince area, it just brought back to me how many times I've been here and how beautiful this country really is. And now to see it devastated the way it is, as we drove from the streets, as we've heard the descriptions of the bodies lying on a sidewalk morgue kind of fashion, covered and yet ignored in so many ways. People walking by them as if they weren't there, and yet they are because there's no place for these bodies to go.

The other thing that struck me is not only the tremendous toll that this is taking on the Haitian people but also those many missionaries and relief workers, many of whom live here --

BROWN: And it looks like we've lost Susan there as well. Again, we've been struggling a little bit with communications. You can imagine, nothing compared to what they are going through.

No power in the city of Port-au-Prince. No communications and this has been a real challenge for people as they try to just find out if their loved ones, family and friends, are OK tonight. We're going to look a little bit at that part of the story, as people are trying to connect.

When we come back, Michael Holmes has been following that as people are contacting CNN to see if we have information about family and relatives. Again, people desperately need help, food, water, shelter.

We have been telling you, go to Our Web site has a lot of information about how you can help. We'll be back in just a moment.


BROWN: CNN's correspondents in Port-au-Prince tonight and its suburbs, reporting that entire blocks of buildings have collapsed. So tonight, reaching loved ones in Haiti remains virtually impossible. Among those searching for loved ones is Jimmy Jean-Louis, who is a cast member of the NBC drama "Heroes." And he's joining us right now live from Los Angeles.

And, Jimmy, I know you were born in Haiti. Your parents are there. What's the latest? Have you been able to reach them?

JIMMY JEAN-LOUIS, HAS FAMILY IN HAITI: No, not yet, unfortunately. I've been trying to call ever since I've heard about the disaster. I tried for the whole day of yesterday and also this morning and this afternoon, but no luck so far.

BROWN: So you don't -- you don't know if they're alive. You don't know if they're OK. You don't know anything at this stage?

JEAN-LOUIS: Well, I haven't been able to speak to my mom or my dad or my cousins or uncles and aunts. I don't really know about the situation. Even though I spoke to one person that told me about his experience down there, and apparently it's a real disaster.

I know the place very well. I grew up in Petionville, and I can only imagine what they're going through right now. BROWN: Well, because you know the country so well, what do you think this will mean? I mean, you've seen the pictures. To the people who were just trying to make ends meet and who frankly weren't able to make ends meet even before this disaster happened.

JEAN-LOUIS: Well, just a simple example, last year we had one school that collapsed. One school and we were unable to take care of that. This year we have the entire city that collapsed, including the major points such as hospitals, hotels, and even the presidential palace.

I don't know what's going to happen to them. And you know in Haiti you don't have too many roads. You have like three or four roads.

BROWN: Right.

JEAN-LOUIS: With such a disaster, the roads will be blocked. How are we going to be able to go from point A to point B? I'm so worried right now. I am terribly worried.

BROWN: And I'm sure worried about your family as well. We appreciate your time tonight. Best of luck in your search.

So many people going through exactly what he is. Michael Holmes very quickly giving us some information about what you can do to try to track down family and friends.

Michael, what do you know?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Campbell, we're at the international desk. I've got to tell you that things have gone crazy here on If you go to, you're seeing things like this. The Dorce (ph) family asking if anyone has seen their daughter, their grandfather. Another family here, the grandmother is missing.

These people are posting on This is a family in Peru looking for their relatives. Hundreds and hundreds. I can tell you, Campbell, look here, we have 68 pages, 70. In fact, it's up to 80 pages of people, ten a page, looking for their loved ones. So you can see what people are trying to do. Just reach out and get any help they can.

BROWN: Michael Holmes for us. Michael, thanks.

Much more ahead on "LARRY KING" and throughout the night.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starting right now.