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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Aid Is Beginning To Arrive In Haiti, But Getting Inland To The People Is A Big Problem
Aired January 15, 2010 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Aid is beginning to arrive in Haiti. Obstacles still remain and have to be overcome tonight. We are reporting once again live from Port-au-Prince.
In the business world, the bill for the financial bailout, the U.S. president wants Europeans to pay their share.
And tonight, you need a quick loan? There is an I-Phone app for that.
I'm Richard Quest, a busy hour ahead.
Good evening to you. Almost 72 hours since the earthquake struck in Haiti and now with every minute the window of opportunity to save people trapped under falling buildings is closing. It is getting ever more perilous to life.
Now, to bring you the latest video, new video, coming in to CNN at the moment. It could be called the race of rescue, but experts say the best chances of getting people out alive comes within the first three days. The chances thereafter of survival, it grows ever more slim.
As you can see from these pictures, pictures you will be well familiar with now, but seemingly, each new piece of video that we receive at CNN just brings home the magnitude of what's taken place and the awfulness and plight facing those still in Haiti.
We have been hearing, a short while ago, and while you look at this video, let me just remind you of what Anderson Cooper was telling us just a few moments ago, that the grim task of burying the dead has now begun. Due please be aware that the pictures you are looking at now, they are new video - it is new video into CNN, but it is also extremely graphic video.
As Anderson Cooper was telling us, just a moment or two ago, the number of dead is so huge, the risk of illness is so serious, of infection and of outbreak of major, of cholera and the like, that now of course burials are being taken en masse. The burials and the way in which people are being taken to their grave leaves little for dignity. There was little dignity in death and there now seems to be even less, in the way they are being buried, as a matter of urgency.
Jonathan Mann, joins me now, live from Port-au-Prince.
Jonathan, this -there are now two real issues here aren't there? There is the issue of finding anyone who might still be alive, coupled with burying the dead to prevent infection?
JONATHAN MANN, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR: And keeping those who are alive, Richard, fed and with enough water to sustain them. There are all kinds of issues for this country. And that is why people are talking for the next few hours as being crucial. The next few years as being necessary to address all of the damage that the earthquake has done.
You know, when you talk about the way they are disposing of the dead it takes your breath away, until you realize it is not a hard-hearted attempt dishonor those who are deceased. It is a very hard and cold practical consideration of trying to protect the ones who are alive.
In all of this, and there is so much to be thought of, so much to be considered, such enormous challenges ahead. When you think of this it is because, for the most part, it is because buildings came down on top of the people who were in them. How many we don't know. We tried to get one glimpse, though, of just one building. One of the most famous buildings in the city, it is just a short distance from here. It too, is down, and basically now because of so many of the challenges that are ahead no one is paying much notice. But we thought we thought we'd have a look.
MANN (on camera): There is so much destruction every where around Port-au-Prince that takes your breath away. You can almost forget that this was the presidential palace. The seat of Haiti's head of state, a man who now counts himself among the capital's homeless. Imagine the White House or the Elysee Palace in Paris, crushed like this by a natural disaster. Think of this as Haiti's 9/11, with its own most important, most memorable building now collapsed.
We ran into the president of Haiti when we first arrived. He was at the airport, looking frankly, something close to bewildered. And I asked him, "What are you doing here? What are you doing at the airport?"
He said, "I'm at the airport because my own home has fallen down."
This may be one of the best known buildings in Port-au-Prince. It is certainly one of the grandest. Now, it stands as a sign of just how much this country has endured. The president, of course, is no longer working out of here. The government, to be frank, is not very much in evidence. People are doing their best for themselves. But their government, never the most responsible organization in the best of times, their government's help is hardly to be seen.
Port-au-Prince, around me, still thronged with people. Bu this is a busy area, normally there would be cars in the streets, there would be commercial activity. Now, people are wandering, going from place to place as best they can, trying to establish the routines of their lives, trying to find food and water and shelter. But here at the presidential palace, a sense of just how much has changed, how enormous the damage and how long it will take before even this poor nation can return to what it was just a few days ago.
Jonathan Mann, CNN, Port-au-Prince.
MANN: Now, Richard, that is architecture - that is architecture, no one is really going to mourn the building. They're going to mourn the dead though. And inevitably they are going to wonder about all of the families, every one who has been separated, all of the people who simply can't be found. Have a look at this video that we have, just coming in, Richard. It tells the story better than I can. It gives you a sense of the enormous confusion and the terrible, terrible loss of life in this calamity.
This is Haiti today. This is Haiti that has been promised help by the United Nations, by the United States, by countries around the world. This is Haiti, with the navy of the most powerful nation on Earth, off its coast. These are the people we are talking about and they are so many of them. There are so many places to look. You don't have to look in Port- au-Prince. You don't have to look on the island of Haiti, you can look on the coast. It is an indication of the challenge here. It is an indication of the terrible destruction.
QUEST: Jonathan, we are going to be talking about donating aid and money to the cause in just a moment. But one of the issues that now, of course, is the number of aid relief flights going into Port-au-Prince has created an absolute logjam at the airport. And physically, now, getting the stuff in is proving to be extremely challenging.
MANN: It is a classic dilemma in international aid, particularly in times of emergency. You know, people call it a bottleneck. It is not a bottleneck. It is like using a fire hose to fill an eyedropper. There is a limit to how much a country like this can absorb, rapidly. There is a limit how quickly aid can be moved in.
The best news, perhaps, for the people of Haiti, is that there will be a military force, in this case it will be the U.S. military that will be coming ashore to distribute aid, because this country does not have the government infrastructure to make it possible. The good news for Haiti is that the weather is not the problem. The good news for Haiti is that the roads seem to be in remarkably good shape. Considering what has happened to other kinds of infrastructure and the buildings. There is a way through this country. There is a way into this country, it is almost, though, as if the government isn't going to be a part of the dynamic. Certainly it hasn't been part of the dynamic so far.
It is going to take a lot of manpower. It is going to take a lot of know-how. It is going to take maybe the boots on the ground that we are expecting any time. But the ability to push through these bottlenecks - and that is really not the right word - the ability to push through these bottlenecks, is the number one challenge. The world has been alerted, the people of Haiti welcome any aid they can get and the aid is so tantalizingly close, that simply figuring out a way to distribute it, as you say, is now really the only big question.
QUEST: Jonathan Mann, in Port-au-Prince, we'll leave you to carry on with your news gathering duties. And come back when there is more to bring up to date with.
Jonathan Mann, there in - of course the pictures that we are showing you and will continue to show to you as new video comes into CNN. It is, of course, at the more distressing time, we'll warn you as of when.
Now, when it comes to donating money to the emergency effort for Haiti, really, you look at the old, you look at the devastation, and you realize that actually donating money is really as simple as now one of these, of course. The humble mobile phone is now proving to be biggest weapon in raising money for those most in need.
I'll take my phone, and I'll take this with me, as I show you. If you take, for example, what the Red Cross says, $8 million has been raised by people texting for the Haiti appeal. People in the U.S., and those who have a U.S. cell phone, can actually text the numbers 90999, 90999 and you text the word "Haiti". And that creates a donation of $10 to the appeal, because the money is then paid and you are charged on your mobile phone bill.
Message of support have come from many of the major companies. Verizon Wireless, of U.S. , says, texting has opened up a "new world for philanthropy". Getting people involved, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T are all involved. There is one slight problem with donating via texting it can take many months, or weeks, at least, for the money to arrive in that sense. It is a new channel, but there are still bottlenecks within it.
Getting the message out about where to give money is Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, there are so many places, of course, where you can find --and the money -on these sort of issues that it really becomes quite extraordinary.
Now, in terms of donating money and these ways, Andrew Watt is the chief programming officer at the association of fundraising professionals. Andrew joins me, now, live from Washington.
Andrew, the new ways of raising money, what do they tell us about this dichotomy that is going on?
ANDREW WATT, ASSOC. OF FUNDRAISING PROFESSIONALS: I think they give us the opportunity to give instantly. Everybody wants to help, but the only way in which most of us can help is by giving money. The new ways, though, speak to some very old truths. People give through community and what you can see here is that through their friends, from messages from celebrities they are creating networks, if you like, of online giving.
But the thing that is different is that the SMS to text gives them the ability to do that immediately in a way that they haven't had before.
QUEST: You talk about the democratization of giving in the sense of that the SMS text does, but is it the most efficient way of giving, when we are hearing reports that it can take up to 90 days for the money to actually be transmitted, just because of logistics?
WATT: It is one of the more efficient ways of giving. All forms of giving take time to come through. But if you look at many people in the world, they don't actually have access to a credit card. They don't have access to a bank account. They may not even have access to a computer or be able to go online. If you have a cell phone in your hand, you can actually give. And that applies, whatever age, whatever generation, whatever nationality you are. And it is no coincidence that Latin America, Eastern Europe, have led in this form of giving for many, many years. There are challenges. I mean, you have identified them. It can take a very long time to process. I'd be very happy today to hear that the phone companies have actually not only been waiving their fees for processing these text, but making guarantees to process them far faster.
QUEST: If you look to the future, and we obviously have to look beyond Haiti. Is the real future more online giving or is it through things like smart phones and through SMSing? Where would you - you know, if you had to put your fire power where are you going to put it?
WATT: Well, don't forget that smart phones, SMS, those are just a means of giving. What you have to do is be able to build a really strong community and you are not going to do that on your phone. It is the community that you are contacting with your phone that enables you to build that community.
So, go online, look at Greenpeace, look at the American Red Cross, look at Amnesty International. They all make very effective use of the range of online media that are available today. They create online communities, but they give each individual the opportunity of opting in, in the way that they feel most comfortable with. SMS texting, how you pay the money, really is a convenience, it is not the way that you build the community. And it is certainly not the way that you build long-term loyalty.
QUEST: Finally, I just want to delve into a little bit deeper into that aspect of it. Because the money is essential for the immediate relief, but if I understand you right, it is the involvement and the prospect of community that creates the general societal benefit.
WATT: Yes, absolutely. And if you go back and you look at what has happened after the tsunami, you will see that there was a spike in giving, if you like, but it didn't actually impact, overall, the levels of giving in that particular year.
In something like this, people responding, they have a very sort of deep-felt need to respond instantly to something. So, they will give to organizations that they might not normally give to. What that does, though, is open an opportunity for those organizations - and many like them, many others - to create a feeling of belonging and an understanding of the transformational impact of what they as an individual can do. Most of us feel very small. We feel that what we do has limited impact on the environment around us.
The opportunity that non-profits can have here is actually to make people understand that they can go far further than that and what they do, individually, genuinely makes a difference.
QUEST: And that, of course, comes through the technology. Andrew, many thanks, indeed, for joining us.
Andrew Watt, joining us from Washington.
Now, you need to know details of how you can assist in your own way. Information on helping people on Haiti, go to CNN's web site, at CNN.com/impact. There is a special page on the devastation. It links the aide agencies that are bringing help. And you can, of course, play your role by "Impacting Your World at CNN.com/impact.
We will be assured to keep you up to date, however the situation develops. When we return in just a moment, we return to our normal agenda of business news.
QUEST: A plan in America to make U.S. financial institutions refund American taxpayers, it is set to catch European banks and others in its wide net.
On Thursday Barack Obama unveiled plans for a new tax on all banks above a certain size whether or not they took bailout funds or not, from the U.S. government. Within the industry people are complaining it is unfair. European banks, that did not receive any aid, will still have to chip in.
In the U.K. one analyst estimates the three largest banks, Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, could out of pocket by more than $10 billion. German and Swiss banks also affected to a total of 10 to 15 of the 50 companies liable to pay the tax will be U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned banks. The president says this action is needed for the sake of U.S. taxpayers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, I turned to Andrew Palmer, the financial editor at "The Economist" to ask whether President Obama's plan, however good it may sound in principle, will it actually work?
ANDREW PALMER, FINANCIAL EDITOR, "THE ECONOMIST": Well, it will certainly recoup plenty of money. They are aiming to get back $90 billion to $120 billion, depending on the costs of the bailout, and how they are estimated. They will get that back. They are certainly doing a good job of whacking the banks, which politically is very satisfactory.
And they are also, with this levy, doing something which is important, they are recognizing the fact that banks were implicitly subsidized by governments before this crisis. So what they are doing with this levy, is saying we know that deposits were insured, but even banks that funded themselves on the capital markets were insured and we are going to start charging for that.
QUEST: The foreign banks that will be hit by this are squealing already. Claiming it is unfair. They didn't bail out us, why should they be involved in having to pay the levy? Is that just, me thinks you doth protest too much?
PALMER: I think so, basically. You know, whether you were actually taking out bailout money or not, you certainly benefited from the government stepping in and helping the financial system. It is the equivalent of U.S. subsidiaries - sorry, of U.K. subsidiaries of U.S. banks, suffering the bonus tax that the British government imposed this year. So, I think everyone recognizes that the fact that governments intervened, helped the banks, so I think talking about unfairness. That is a little bit of bleating.
QUEST: When we look at the TARP money, and we compare it for example to the money the British paid, and that everyone else has paid, in their various bank bailouts, do we still think it is possible that net-net they will have made a profit in end of it all?
PALMER: I don't think so. I mean, there will be a lot of creative presentation of -
QUEST: Because that has already happened, hasn't it? I mean, you hear the president of the United States, going on about how Citibank has paid back and Chase has paid back that.
PALMER: Yes, well, actually this is what the U.S. banks argue, which is that actually the money that we got through this TARP program we paid back with interest, you made a profit. But bail out accounting, as I say, creative in its presentation. So when the government says we think we are going to need to recoup $120 billion, that is on net loss, on top.
That doesn't take any account of the emergency lending from the Fed to banks. It doesn't take any account of the money that went into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is a huge black hole. And so, let alone, the cost of the fiscal stimulus, the economic impact that we are going to see from this for years to come.
QUEST: And the higher spending that just takes place as a result of higher unemployment pay and onwards and upwards.
PALMER: That's right. And reduced tax revenues from the fact that, you know, in general the economy is in trouble.
QUEST: Off the fence, Andrew, what do you think? When we look at this levy, is it going to fly? I mean it will fly, legally, do you think ultimately the banks will go along with it? They'll have to go along with it?
PALMER: They'll have to go along with it. I mean, actually, the argument is, is it big enough? The fact is it runs off after 10 years. And because it reflects this implicit subsidy from the government, there is no reason for it to run off. It should be part of structural reform.
QUEST: Andrew Palmer, there, of "The Economist".
European stock markets limped to the end of the week in a downbeat mode. J.P. Morgan has a cautious outlook. The results? The cure is We'll talk about that in just a second.
After a positive start in Europe, the major markets all ended down. Oil prices pulled mines and commodities lower. Peugeot, Volkswagen, lost more than 3 percent. It was the banks that really dragged things lower. Deutsche down more than 3 percent in Frankfurt. BNP Paribas, similarly. And Barclays closed more than 2 percent lower in London.
I can only wonder what on earth my Barclay shares are doing -oh, 311. We're still (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I paid 63 pence, so I can't complain too much for that.
Wall Street is on track for its first triple digit loss on the Dow, for 2010, even after two of the companies make up the Dow reported big profits. I knew the Dow was in trouble when Susan Lisovicz turned up to work without any jewelry.
And at the moment, Susan, this is the Lisovicz barometer told me things were not going well. Susan.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It is an indicator and I am not wearing any bling today because, you know, we are taking it on the chin today.
Richard, the market had been drifting higher even when there really wasn't any news. The fact is there is news today. We have two heavyweights, one in the technology arena and one in the financial arena. And particularly, in financial, you know with J.P. Morgan Chase, sure it expedited on the bottom line, but its revenue fell short.
And Jamie Diamond said it did fall short on his estimates as well. He is very cautious going forward. Putting forth another $2 billion for additional loan losses on the consumer side; not raising the dividend. And, you know, J.P. Morgan Chase considered one of the stronger financials, has not reported a loss in this recession. So, you better believe it, the whole sector is getting pounded.
And, you know, it just really amps up the nervousness ahead of next week when we hear from so many financials, like Citigroup and Bank of America. Which needless to say are not in the kind of shape that J.P. Morgan is. So, yes, we are on track, right now, Richard with just about 90 minutes to go in the session for the first triple-digit loss of the new year, for the Dow.
QUEST: Susan, many thanks. Next week you will be joining us, as we talk about the Q25 for the fourth quarter of 2009.
Susan, in New York.
If you thought your IPhone was smart enough already. Ha! Your IPhone can now giver you a loan. Wireless credit, it comes with strings attached. We are going to look at the small print of an APR of more than 2,000 percent. I jest not.
QUEST: So, you are short of cash. And help may be in the palm of your hand. Or not in the palm in the case of my PALM, but Apple's IPhone now is its first every lending app, meaning it credit is just a click away.
It gives you access to something called Payday lending. Now, Payday lending is a fascinating idea. It is short term liquidity. That is a posh way of saying, paying people who want to borrow money for up to a month, tide them over, until payday. Sort of a cash short fall.
Amounts borrowed are relatively small, usually no more than a few hundred dollars. Possibly up to $500 to $700. But as you can imagine, there is a price to pay. Interest rates are high, perhaps more than 2,600 percent, as an APR, annual percentage rate. And that is not unusual in the market for small, short-term lending.
Basically, the idea is your borrowing for a day or two at 7 or 8 percent, but over a year, it gets into the thousands. Look, before you click, at the small print. Morgan Neill is now looking at the IPhone and the app that really is extremely expensive.
MORGAN NEILL, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Quick loans on your IPhone. This new app from U.K. online lender Wonga, offers loans of up to 1,000 pounds, more than $1600 in as little as 15 minutes.
(On camera): The design is really very simple. Just take a look at this. All you have to do is move this top slider, select how much money you want to borrow. Then on the bottom slider show how long it is going to take for you to pay it back. As you do so, it will automatically calculate just how much interest you have to pay.
(voice over): A short questionnaire asks for your bank and employment details and that is all there is to it. The company calls it street credit. But at a typical annual percentage rate of 2,689 percent, if you borrowed $100 you would owe $136 after 30 days.
Consumer advocate Nick Hart has a different name for that, Risky.
NICK HART, CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU: Street credit means nothing to us. It is credit, pure and simple. It is borrowing money at very high interest rate. Whether they try and dress it up in different terms, what it quite simply means is borrowing small amounts of money and paying very large amounts of money back.
NEILL: But Wonga's founder says his company is not like the much- maligned payday lenders. For one, he is much more selective. Less than 20 percent of applications are accepted. While other short-term lenders may check only that the applicant is employed, Wonga's checks go further.
ERROL DAMELIN, FOUNDER, CEO, WONGA: The customer experience is very straightforward and it is a very quick, couple of minutes process to get access to a loan that is completely online. In the back end we are doing very complicated work. And the fact that the customer doesn't see it doesn't mean it is not being done.
NEILL: No one is approved without a job in good standing and a bank account. But is it getting too easy to get a high interest loan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's always up to the person. I mean if you've got a credit card in your hand, you can do the same thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is good if you need money -- absolutely need it for some emergency, then, yes. But for shopping on Regent Street, definitely not.
NEILL: Good idea or not, this latest ap means credit is not literally in the palm of your hand.
Morgan Neill, CNN. London.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: Well, just not more than 2,000 percent interest.
In a moment, we're back in Haiti with the latest on the rescue effort across the capital of Port-au-Prince.
QUEST: Good evening.
I'm Richard Quest.
This is CNN.
Let me bring you up to date with the events in Haiti tonight, where the battle to reach survivors trapped under these tons of concrete in the country is now becoming desperate.
In the three days since the quake hit -- and experts say that for those buried beneath the rubble without food or water, well, the chances of survival fade rapidly after 72 hours. Those who escaped the devastation in Port-au-Prince are hungry and they are thirsty. They haven't had much, if anything, to eat or drink in more than 68 hours. And those who do have food and water don't have enough to last very long.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERRE LIESCO, PORT-AU-PRINCE RESIDENT: I think in -- in the next few days, people are going to be running out of food, of water. I think we need help because it's urgent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: There are many prongs to this story. There are, of course, those who are still under the rubble. There are those who are still alive and seeking food and water.
Ivan Watson is live in Port-au-Prince -- and it must be difficult, Ivan, to know at any given moment where the focus of attention actually rests.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I -- I'd like to first, Richard, focus your direction on some video that just came in recently from the Associated Press, just to give us a sense of the scale of the disaster here.
This first piece of video is this aerial footage. And it shows desperate people reaching out, waving, clearly looking for help and -- and -- and making a very obvious plea to the outside world for assistance here. And that's just a reminder of how desperate people are becoming here, now, three days after the earthquake.
And if I could direct to you another piece of vidage -- footage, we want to warn viewers that this is very graphic material. It appears to show not only the devastation of the earthquake, but also what appear to be a large number of corpses. And this is a very real fact on the ground here is that everywhere you go in -- throughout this port city over the past several days, you will find corpses laying on sidewalks. What we've seen over the past 24 hours is efforts by the government, using bulldozers and dump trucks to gather these corpses that have been shrouded, often cases in a simple sheet, and laid on the sidewalk -- gather them and move them out of the city.
But we do not know where they have been placed. That's just a piece of reality, the facts on the ground here that the survivors behind me are trying to live with -- Rich -- Richard.
QUEST: The -- the aid is arriving. We know there are problems at the airport getting more in.
But is there any feeling yet, Ivan, that the aid arriving is making a difference -- a noticeable difference?
WATSON: So far, I haven't seen a concrete, systematic distribution of the aid. We do know that people are trying to get it in. We know that the airport has limited capacity, that the port is badly damaged.
But I'm going to get out of the way here. If you look here in the square behind me, these people are homeless, Richard. And there are thousands of them arrayed just throughout this Place Dedeho (ph), this square here in downtown Port-au-Prince.
And we know that there are many, many more homeless people throughout the city. And when you go out and talk to these people, they say they have not received any assistance. Some of them have gotten some first aid, some rudimentary health care for their wounds that they've received.
But as you can see, they're living out here in the open now. It's the third day. Some of those people wounded from the earthquake -- the initial collapse of buildings and some of the aftershocks -- they tell me they haven't gotten anything. They don't have any money, they don't have any food, they don't have any water. And the situation is increasingly precarious for them.
Despite this, despite these scenes of thousands of homeless people right behind me, we have also seen moments that just make -- make your eyes mist up. Let's take a look at this video that we saw -- a scene that we saw just a few hours ago -- hundreds of women, mostly, on a procession through the street right next to us singing and chanting -- a moment of what appeared to be either celebration or prayer in the midst of the most trying times.
QUEST: Ivan Watson joining us from Port-au-Prince.
I'll have more in just a moment.
This is CNN.
QUEST: Good evening.
Welcome to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Now, you've seen the reports from Haiti and bear in mind that people are living outside and will continue to do so for some considerable time, until prepare shelter can be put together.
Guillermo is at the World Weather Center.
And we -- we need to know -- I mean, obviously, first of all, aftershocks are a big issue...
GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes.
QUEST: ...and whether or not that's likely. But, also, I think, virtually, the temperatures that will be -- people are having to experience now.
ARDUINO: Unfortunately, they will be in the 30s. So it's like summer for many other countries. But this is the dry season, so imagine all those people living outside, they don't have a home anymore, the temperatures -- no rain is good. And, at the same time, with all these corpses that we were witnessing, as Ivan Watson was showing, the high temperatures are a complication. So they have to stay away from those corpses.
Of course, it stays mostly clear. We're looking at this system here because we are going to see some rain in Puerto Rico. But no rain in the forecast, except for that eventual potential very short-lived rain shower in the evening hours that is very typical with these temps.
In the morning, the evening, looking fine; during the day, quite hot. And, also, people you know, they are exposed to heat stroke on -- also, the dehydration. That can be it.
Well, you mentioned aftershocks. And I have to say, we've seen around 50 so far. And we may see some more. Remember, this has been a very significant earthquake in Haiti, so we may see the resettling of the -- of the Earth.
At the same time, a report from Venezuela -- 5.4, according to Venezuelan authorities -- 5.6, the U.S. Geological Service. But compared to the major system that we saw in Haiti, this is nothing big. Well, I -- and we need to talk about it, because we need to put it in perspective in this context. You know, people are very paranoid when they feel the shaking. It can be associated like an aftershock, because that's a very active area of the world. But minor damage and I was report -- reading on the "El Nacionale" newspaper in Venezuela, only power failure in some -- some areas, but everything else normal. We'll continue to research on that.
I'm going to give you an idea of what's going on in Europe, because there's a dramatic change in the weather. We're seeing rain now. We're not seeing anymore snow in Britain. This system that is going through is bringing rain all over, except in the mountains, except here in the Pyrenees. And it will continue to bring rain showers throughout the weekend.
So that is the big thing, the big change that we see. You know, look, no accumulations, just a tad there in Scotland and then the Alpine Region, of course, in Moldavia in the east.
But temperatures, Richard, continue to be cold. There is a little bit of a change again. So this is pretty good into Saturday, especially Spain is going back to normal. France and England going back to normal gradually, because temps are rebounding, even in here.
We look at now the potential of flooding, because with temperatures going back up, the snow may melt down. Of course, it will melt down and we had some Sarajevo floods before. So we are going to look at that aspect, as well.
Look at London for tomorrow -- the temperature going back all the way to eight degrees. In Madrid, the same thing. The key of minus 10, Berlin still quite cold. It's going to take time for that.
In Asia, a little bit of a change, too. Warming up in China, but cooling down in Japan here, because -- and it was the opposite before. We saw the opposite. And we're going to see sea effect snow in here, especially on this side of the mountains. So get ready for that, because we are going to see some snow in Japan -- Richard, we'll go back to you.
QUEST: Guillermo, many thanks for that.
ARDUINO: You're welcome.
QUEST: We just want to show you this video from CNN, from the southern part of Haiti. These pictures of the destruction we've known they come from the town of Jacmel, about 40 kilometers from Port-au-Prince. It's located on the coast. It's known for its artistic traditions. It's produced enough -- this particular area, it's almost indecent to be talking about this now, but it produced some of Haiti's best known painters come from this part of the country. And, well, the devastation, of course.
But this is the singing, the prayers in some way, in some form, community coming together to try and make sense of the senselessness of life.
I'm Richard Quest in London.
"MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST" is next.
Remember, because the news never stops, neither do we.
This is CNN.