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Food, Supplies Starting to Reach Earthquake Victims; General Russell on Responding to Haiti Earthquake Victims; U.N. Worker in Haiti Found Dead; Clinton Meets with Haitian Leaders
Aired January 16, 2010 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Don Lemon.
We're following the breaking news happening in Haiti. I want to welcome our views are around the world to CNN this evening here in the United States, 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the east coast. We want to get right to our breaking news now.
Our Anderson Cooper is on the ground where they are trying to rescue a little girl, Anderson right in the middle of it.
What do you know?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Don, this has been going on for some four hours now and about 15 or 20 minutes ago they got the best possible news, which are for the first time in the four hours that rescue personnel from L.A. County fire search and rescue teams have been working on this site, they got a distinctive three taps. They -- for the last four hours, they have sent in three different dogs that could recognize the scent of a living human being. One dog got what they described as showing interest but there were no positive hits.
They would send in very delicate audio equipment, microphones and listening devices to hear and ask what they would yell into the rubble whether or not, you know, if somebody could tap three times. And they would hear noises, they would hear what they thought was moaning one time. They thought they heard tapping one time.
But there's so much ambient noise and there's so much background noise in the streets of Port-au-Prince, it's very difficult to tell. They continue to work because they were told by a lady on the street, who was talking through our interpreter to the L.A. County rescue personnel because they don't have an interpreter of their own. This mother was saying she's convinced her daughter is alive and inside the structure.
The daughter's name is Leka Alexandra (ph). She's just 10-years- old. And the mother for four days has been trying to get somebody, anybody to pay attention to her flight. Finally these personnel just happened to be coming by. This is the area they're now responsible for. And of course, they immediately responded to the scene. But for the first time, it's only been 15 or 20 minutes ago that they went in a different way into this rubble, and with the help of a local who literally took them into very, very dangerous part deep underneath the rubble that he had been in earlier in search of his sister, who he also believes is inside this structure, they heard for the first time distinctly three taps when they requested this person to tap. So --
LEMON: Hey, Anderson.
COOPER: -- it's amazing somebody might still be alive.
LEMON: Anderson, please stand by. We are going to get back to you in just little bit. We promise you. Because we understand this is a very serious story happening.
We want to get to Karl Penhaul real quick. Because the food distribution is starting to get a little bit rough there. As we showed you earlier here on CNN that they were delivering food, the military and other agencies and people were scrambling.
Karl Penhaul is reporting -- in the middle of a report right now. \
So, let's listen in.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT : And just before last light, United Nations troops that were here together with the world food program had to take off. They had security rules. They don't want to be out after dark. If that happens, the crowds that were left, some of them who didn't get any of the high-energy cookies that were being handed out have come through the gates now and they're pulling through the boxes that were left over to see if any of those cookies were left.
Now, at first I had the impression these people were fighting over the boxes. I think that was a correct initial impression to see if there were any cookies left. But now in fact the bizarre seem, it seems to be somewhere of a release of energy, they were throwing boxes at one another, kids once again playing again, tossing boxes at one another and potentially violent situation has dissipated into a little bit of fun after all of these days of high tension.
LEMON: That is CNN's Karl Penhaul reporting. You can see him there in Port-au-Prince. As this aid started to arrive, you can see people are obviously desperate.
Again, he's speaking now. Let's listen back in to him. We will get to our Anderson Cooper as well on a breaking story.
PENHAUL: A U.S. helicopter came along and instead of landing swooped down from about ten feet began tossing boxes off the helicopter. That, again, threatened to generate a stampede but, again, people on the ground once again seemed to restrain themselves. That is somewhat of a strange sight here for Haiti after disasters. I have been here previously when there's been flooding and usually these food lines generate into chaos and they generate into violence.
But today, at least, here in this food line, things have remained relatively calm. And thanks to those high-energy cookies, some of these earthquake survivors will be going home to bed tonight with a full belly. But, of course, they need much more relief. They need much more water and they need much more food if they're going to make it through these coming days.
LEMON: That is CNN's Karl Penhaul again reporting from Port-au- Prince in Haiti.
And you can see there just how desperate people are, the moment that they hear that there's some sort of food, some sort of aid, they rush to it to try to get it. You can imagine days without food and many of them without shelter as well.
I want to get back now to our other breaking story as it comes to Haiti and Anderson Cooper on the scene with a 10-year-old girl. Anderson, I was listening to you a little bit earlier, you said, the girl's mother and I think you said, it was Leka and the 10-year-old girl, I didn't get her name, but they're searching for her now.
COOPER: Yes. There is a 10-year-old girl who is inside. Whether she's alive or dead, we don't know. Her name is Leka Alexandra. She's 10-years-old. Her mother Manuska (ph) is the one who originally brought us to the scene. In the time we have been here, other relatives have now come and said that their loved one is also inside and may be alive or dead. I want to show you the picture of another little girl. Her name is Dorian Bruno (ph). She's 12- years-old. Her father Jaclyn Bruno (ph) is on the scene as well.
He believes his daughter may still be alive inside and the reason he's convinced of that is because another little girl named Teresa, who is just 13-years-old, he says, escaped from the structure. He says she escaped from the rubble yesterday relatively unharmed. She was able to literally call her own way out. And she tells this story, this little girl tells the story to the father Dorian as she was leaving Dorian was leaving with her, but then Dorian fell asleep and was not able to make it out. So, he believes that maybe his daughter, Dorian, is still alive inside this structure.
And at this point the truth is we don't know who is alive. We only know that there does seem to be somebody alive in here. There's another young man named Harold who's also on the scene here. He believes his sister, Marie, is inside. She's 22-years-old and she actually worked at this day care center. So, a number of small children believed to be inside. Daycare worker as well.
We know this man Harold, who has been inside the structure leading rescue workers. He said he has seen at least two bodies of adults. Bottom line, we don't know who it is who may be alive but there is somebody alive inside this structure, according to the search-and-rescue personnel. They are convinced of this and they are working very, very hard to try to get to this person.
LEMON: Anderson, I want to ask you a question. I want you to stand by here and talk to me with General Russell Honore, who is here on the set. We are going to bring him in just a little bit and you have questions for him as well, you're more than welcome to weigh in. I've just got to talk to you about the human side of this, Anderson, covering this and having all of these people come up to you about their loved ones, telling you that their loved ones are missing. Please help. Please help. That's got to weigh on you, and that's got be weighing on the rescuers as well.
COOPER: Well, you know, of course. It's hard for anybody who's here. But you know, it's nothing compared to what the people here are going through. I mean this is, you know, I don't know of any reporter here who is concerned about their own emotional well being or physical well being.
This is something which is so cataclysmic on such a scale, I think, we all just feel lucky to be here and a privileged to be here and happy to be in a position to help. I mean, I'm very happy for our interpreter, you know, Vlad (ph), who is, you know, young producer working for CNN, was with us and has been integral to this search in terms of trying to yell out in French to whoever may be in the rubble trying to get them to tap.
So, you know, everybody's trying to do what they can. But the work that these search-and-rescue teams are doing is extraordinary. These men and women are incredibly dedicated. They have been here for days. And, you know, they are probably professional. They are trying to stay as safe as they can while they operate. But they are determined. It is slow going. We just had the latest report, I'm just hearing some word from rescuers who were leaving the structure right now trying to get some water. It's extraordinarily hot here. It's very difficult conditions and they're burrowing deep inside very unstable rubble right down. If they can pull somebody out alive today, of all days, day four, almost to the hour of when this earthquake struck, that would just be extraordinary.
LEMON: And Anderson, very well put.
Are you noticing yourself, have you seen a difference when it comes to the number of rescuers and emergency personnel on the scene and also emergency supplies, food, water, being dropped?
COOPER: Yes, there's no doubt that today we're seeing more than we have seen on any other day. I mean, there's traffic. We drove by the airport earlier today and there's literally traffic jams of U.N. vehicles or armored personnel carriers and rescue team and it's a bit of a chaotic scene on the streets outside the airport. Once you get out elsewhere but, you know, still, its dribs and drabs in terms of scale and numbers of people who are actually receiving direct -- direct aid or water. People still come up to you and say, you know, can I have some water? Can I -- can you get a message to our loved ones? Do you have any food? You know, I need help.
But there's definitely getting to be more organization. You know, these rescue personnel, they have sectors now that they are responsible for and they're going around much like we saw in new Orleans, you know, they search a structure, they spray paint in that neon spray paint we all got to know unfortunately too well in New Orleans. How many bodies were inside when it was searched and by whom and then they move on.
So, there's a level of organization that we're starting to see. I'm starting to see more Haitian police guarding gasoline station, try to restore order, directing traffic. Today was the first day I really saw a couple police officers directing traffic. Certainly, the body pickups by the Haitian government is continuing. You're seeing less bodies, of course. We're still seeing a lot, I mean, as you know, they're being buried in mass graves now. So, there's definitely a level of organization but it's still early days.
LEMON: Anderson, stand by live. Thank you so much with that.
Anderson on the scene with a 10-year-old girl they're trying to rescue her and they are using tap, tapping as a mechanism to rescue her. Stand by, Anderson, we are going to get back to you in just a little bit.
In the meantime, General Russell Honore, who, you know, you took the helm during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, when similar situation and I don't believe it was this honestly this devastating, when it comes to New Orleans, tragedy as well.
Anderson mentioned, you know, the markings. We came to read those like, you know, like every day, you know. OK. This one has been checked, one body found in there, one person. So, we knew what was happening there.
Talk to us about what you heard Anderson say about that relief being dropped off and also how they're trying to rescue these people, especially this little 10-year-old girl.
RET. LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, as far as the motivation to get it done, I've never seen people work so hard as I saw people during Katrina, the first responders. Many of them worked 17, 18 hours a day. We had helicopter pilots that flew for 16 hours a day nonstop, which is normally a five or six-hour day is the limit and they were doing it day after day and the first responders on the ground, same thing.
What we have seen happening now, Don, is the local government, the police and the first responders, number one, they were all victims. Same thing happened in New Orleans. When the first responders become victim, the governments become victim, they've got to take care of their family. And what we will see happen here in the next 24 hours is that Haitian government, that infrastructure, those community leaders are coming back and start standing up.
So what Anderson is seeing today is take care of the family, find out who was living, where they were. Now they will go back to the civil role and as the aid comes in, you will see a lot more structure with the local government and local police protecting them.
LEMON: And, you know, I asked Anderson this question as well. We talk about the emotional and the physical toll when you said trying to take care. Because when you're there rescuing people, there's a chance or even reporting the chance that you could become injured as well. And you have to gage sleeping, where you are, being injured, also security as well. Those are also major concerns.
HONORE: It is a phenomenon when the people in charge, the government officials, even the president of the country become a victim, they are victims, too, of this damaging earthquake. The effectiveness to come back and be able to be effective, I think we're at that turning point and tomorrow we will see more of that local government officials coming by and establishing those distribution points and as the supplies come in, as of this morning, we have 459 troops on the ground, another 60 to 200 scheduled to arrive by tomorrow.
LEMON: And it's important for the workers and people on the ground, journalists even that they remain physically well, emotionally well, because they're bringing information and they're also trying to help the people in Haiti who so desperately need their help at this point.
LEMON: General Russell Honore, stand by. We also have some other news just in to CNN. We have word of deaths of several U.N. workers, again, this is just in to CNN, several U.N. workers that have been -- that have been killed there.
Our senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth on the line with that bit of breaking news for us.
Richard, what do you know?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): All right, seconds ago the U.N. officially announced the death of their top diplomats in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who were now killed in that earthquake. They had been missing for days, along with an estimated 150 accounted U.N. personnel.
The Tunisian Hedi Ananbi, From Brazil, Luis Carlos da Costa. The senior people leading the United Nations mission, which was based in Haiti for many years now, they are now announced as dead by the United Nations' Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon saying, these saddened to confirm the tragic death of his special representative and his aide and hi deputy.
Also a man Doug Coates of the Royal Canadian mounted police also now confirmed to have died. Ban Ki-moon saying in every since of the word they gave their lives for peace. Hedi Annabi, a man who I knew, who was described by the Secretary General as a true citizen of the world, the U.N. was his life, and he ranked among the most dedicated and committed sons of the U.N. This was in the U.N. compound, former hotel that the men are believed to have died in. And they were on the top floor, five story building, which pancaked and collapsed in the earthquake -- Don. LEMON: All right. Richard Roth, back over that information again. It was a lot of information to absorb. These officials were there when it happened. And we're getting word now from the U.N. about these deaths.
Take our viewers back through it for us, will you?
ROTH: Well, on that day they were meeting with a Chinese police delegation, those gentleman also not found. There are visiting delegations from Beijing, China has peacekeepers there. This U.N. mission has at least 9,000 police and military personnel and the U.N. had several buildings in Port-au-Prince, but the main building collapsed and Hedi Annabi, the Tunisian was meeting on the top floor. Now, Annabi who was the director the Deputy Director of the U.N. Peacekeeping operations around the world. He's been in every country you can imagine where there have been crises.
Started as a desk officer from Cambodia. This collapse of that U.N. building may indeed be the most development in the United Nations' history with more than 100 people perhaps dead, maybe more, and it brings to mind the 2003 bombing in Baghdad where the Senior U.N. Representative in the Baghdad Sergio Vieira de Mello, died.
This building supposedly was built with reinforced concrete said the U.N. And as you look at this videotape, there were words like we need more people to look for people here. The U.N. didn't want give up hope. They wanted to make sure and now they were officially announcing the death of the two senior U.N. diplomats who were serving the United Nations in Haiti.
LEMON: All right. Richard Roth, our Senior U.N. Correspondent reporting that breaking news for us today and again, I will read it here. This again, just coming across the wires.
The top two civilian officials at the U.N. mission in Haiti were killed in Tuesday's earthquake. That's according to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who confirm that just moments ago to our senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth. We're monitoring all of the developments there. We started with breaking news from our very own Anderson Cooper, who has been leading our coverage there in Haiti. A 10-year- old girl being trapped. They are trying to find her.
We also had Karl Penhaul there on some developing news as relief and aid starts to arrive. People are desperate for it. They're clamoring for it. They're running up to the helicopters as they drop it off. We're monitoring the situation there. The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is on the ground. News conference to come soon. And hundreds of people injured, dying, waiting for help, live from Makeshift Hospitals.
We're live with that from our Senior Medical Correspondent there, Elizabeth Cohen, in just a little bit. And, you know what, you can help as well. Go to CNN.com and go to impact your world. And we will tell where you can go to get more information and logon. I'm taking your questions and all of your information here. We had more breaking news to tell you about as well as it concerns flying here in the United States, breaking news story coming out of the Kennedy airport. We're just moments.
LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Following breaking news happening in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. You can see that building right there. We're told by our Anderson Cooper who was on the scene, there's a 10-year-old-girl who is buried beneath this rubble. They are using a tapping mechanism that has been explained to me by General Russell Honore to try to find this little girl and to dig her from beneath these mounds and mounds, piles and piles of rubble. We're following that story. We're monitoring. I also want to tell you we're monitoring breaking news coming from Kennedy airport. We'll get to that in just a little bit.
We want to get you to the ground now in Haiti. Because Haiti is really in agony tonight. There are so many survivors that need help and they need medical treatment and what are being called really Makeshift Hospitals there. So, there are very few doctors. There's too little medicine. They need help. We want to get to the ground now. Elizabeth Cohen is our Senior Medical Correspondent. She's inside one of those temporary hospitals and, Elizabeth, I want you to tell me the situation there. Hundreds of people there who may end up dying because they can't get the medical treatment that they need?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. They can't get the surgery that they need. That's the catch, is these patients have gaping wounds, bones sticking out of their skin, that if they don't have surgery, infection will stick in.
But, Don, as bad as it is, the only thing worse than having a Makeshift Hospital is not having any hospital at all. This hospital behind me is on the grounds of the United Nations complex and the United Nations today in a press conference made it very clear they want this hospital out of here. They say this is built to be a warehouse. It is not built to be a hospital.
I will bring in a doctor who's been working here now for several days. Her name is Dr. Jennifer Furin. She is with Harvard Medical School. Now, Dr. Furin, you're being told to discharge your patients.
DR. JENNIFER FURIN, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: Yes, we're being told these tents need to be cleared of patients by 8:00 tomorrow morning.
COHEN: And your patients, what kind of injuries do they have?
FURIN: These patients have severe injuries. Most of them if they were in the United States would be in an Intensive Care Unit. They have broken hip bones that are displaced, internal organs have been ruptured, patients with spinal cord injuries who are not likely to be able to walk, multiple burns to the body surface area, a lot of abrasions, things that are going to get infected if these patients don't get surgery and get it soon.
COHEN: The United Nations today said, look, this is not a hospital. These patients deserve better. They ought to be treated in a real hospital. We want them out to real hospitals. What do you think about that?
FURIN: I think the sentiment is wonderful because we agree, this is not sufficient to provide dignified, quality care to these patients. I'm all on board with them. I want to know where I'm supposed to take them. I have nowhere to take these patients. So, as undignified as this is, and as much as this isn't meant to be a patient care facility. We have nowhere else to take them right now. Its here or the street.
COHEN: Last night they tried to take 14 patients out of here and send them to another hospital like the U.N. said to do. What happened?
FURIN: All 14 of the patients were turned around at the door, told there was no medication, no doctor there and they were brought back here by ambulance.
COHEN: And they're back here right now.
FURIN: They're back here right now.
COHEN: Thank you, Dr. Jennifer Furin from Harvard Medical School.
FURIN: Thank you. Thank you very much.
COHEN: As you can see, Don, it is really a desperate, desperate situation -- Don.
LEMON: Where is this hospital -- for people who are in Haiti and may be able to watch and get this information, where is this hospital located, Elizabeth?
COHEN: It's located on the grounds of the United Nations compound that is right next to the airport. I can actually look out the door here and actually see the airport.
LEMON: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.
We have a lot of news happening here today as it comes to Haiti. The situation is developing at every single moment. I want to give you recently just something that came across the wires here. Here's to bear with me. I'm just grabbing it. It is from the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It says that Hillary expresses deep sympathy. Obama and entire country feels for the terrible tragedy and ensures the people of Haiti, that they are a friend and partner and that they will take care of them. They discussed at this press conference that is happening in Haiti, the priorities with restoring electricity, communications and transportation.
And again, these are just cliff notes from that conversation. So, Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State and also President Obama, expressing deep sympathy and also promising the people of Haiti they will be a friend and partner throughout this whole process. I'm joined here in Atlanta with General Russell Honore, who was on the ground in New Orleans and took care of that situation and he is helping guide us through this coverage here today to tell us what we are seeing on the ground about these relief efforts and about the relief being that's being dropped and also the rescue efforts as well.
And also our Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and I'm sure you saw this, stayed at a hospital last night. You saw Elizabeth Cohen in one of those hospitals. He stayed at a hospital last night when other doctors left. We're going though you that. We're going to talk to General Honore in just a little bit. We're also going to go back to the ground where Anderson Cooper is following the story of the 10-year-old girl who is trapped beneath the rubble and getting back to our Karl Penhaul, who is following relief efforts being dropped on the ground in Haiti.
We're back in just moments.
LEMON: I told you just moments ago, gave you the cliff notes of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to say as she was touring -- as she was touring the devastation there. She is there. You see her alongside President of Haiti, President Preval. They are speaking now. We're going to listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
RENE GARCIA PREVAL, PRESIDENT OF HAITI (through translator): His last initiative of putting the two last receiving Presidents, Bush and Clinton, together to form a fund, a special fund for Haiti is again a sign of great support. The USAID is already on the territory. I just visited a victim who has been, since five days, taken and he is, again, taken care of by the military and the medical support -- American medical support in Haiti. Mrs. Clinton's visit really warms our heart today but especially to reinsure the priorities and the needs and coordination that needs to be done with the effect of the earthquake.
I will not talk on behalf of Mrs. Clinton. I will let her express what the American government wants to do towards Haiti.
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: First -- where's the Haitian press? Yes. No, No. Come. Thank you. OK?
First, let me -- yes, yes.
CLINTON: ... and then you can translate. Very good, very good.
First, let me express to -- that's a good sound. That means good things are coming and helping the people of Haiti.
I want to express once again the deep sympathy that the president and Mrs. Obama and our entire country feels for the terrible tragedy that has affected the people of Haiti. But I want to ensure the people of Haiti that the United States is a friend, a partner and a supporter, and we will work with your government under the direction of President Preval to assist in every way we can.
We had a very good meeting about all of the priorities of the Haitian government and the Haitian people. We are focused on providing humanitarian assistance, water, food, medical help to those who are suffering. We also are working with the Haitian government on the continuing rescue of those who can be rescued. There are nearly 30 teams from all over the world who are working right now to rescue people who are still alive. Most of the people that the American teams have rescued are Haitians. President Preval just met a man who had survived all of these days. and we are very -- five days, and we are very grateful for that rescue.
We discussed the priorities of restoring communications, electricity and transportation. And we agreed that we would be coordinating closely together to achieve these goals. I am very proud of the work that our American embassy has done, our USAID, the for International Development, for our U.S. military, and for all of the private groups and citizens and church-based organizations that are here in Haiti working with the Haitian people.
I want to speak directly to the Haitian people through the Haitian media. We are here at the invitation of your government to help you. As President Obama has said, we will be here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead.
And speaking personally, I know the resilience and strength of the Haitian people. You have been severely tested. But I believe that Haiti can come back stronger and better in the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madam Secretary...
PREVAL: Thank you very much.
CLINTON: There is so much that has to be done, and that is why President Preval and I will be issuing a joint communique tomorrow. It is trans -- it will be translated into all of the necessary languages, setting forth our intention to cooperate together.
(END OF COVERAGE)
LEMON: That is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the ground in Haiti, holding a press conference there with the president of Haiti, Rene Garcia Preval, saying that -- really point out -- she said she wanted to speak directly to the Haitian people, saying, "I want to speak directly to the Haitian people through the Haitian media that the president and I say, as we said, we will be here today, tomorrow and for the time ahead." They're going to issue a joint communique tomorrow to explain exactly what they're doing.
30 teams on the ground, she said, working all in unison to try to get the situation under control there but it's going to really, really take some time.
Quickly, I told you earlier about a security breach at JFK Airport. Just getting information here. somebody went basically in through the out door, so everybody had to be rescreened. They are now allowing employees and passengers back into the terminals but everyone has to be rescreened.
It's really chaos on the ground there in Haiti, as you can see. And aid finally starting to arrive. food, finally starting to arrive. So imagine being days, going days and days without food or water or shelter. You can imagine that people are desperate for help. Finally, when food and aid does arrive, they're clamoring to get it.
We're also helping people here in the United States find their missing loved ones in Haiti. So won't you join us please on the social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook, send us an iReport. We will read it on the air. We will help you find your missing loved one.
LEMON: Don Lemon here in Atlanta, joined by Lieutenant General Russel Honore, who is helping guide us through some of this coverage.
You know security is a concern in situations like this.
Before I talked to the general, I want to tell you this, people are seriously injured, we know, critically ill and left behind by some doctor and nurses, sadly, Lieutenant Russel Honore.
Our CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reports that medical personnel were evacuated from a field hospital in Port- au-Prince because of security concerns. Dr. Gupta, well, he stayed behind.
Here's what he told our Anderson Cooper just last night.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a remarkable situation, and a very frustrating one for sure, Anderson. There were these tents put up earlier today, something people have been waiting for some time. You and I talked about this quite a bit.
Come with me over here. to give you an idea of what's happening, so many of these Haitians have been waiting after so long to try to get care. Anderson just coming around the corner, you can see patients just lined up all through here. Some of them did get care throughout the day today. In fact, about a couple hundred patients did get care.
But now what we're hearing is that because of security concerns, all of the doctors, nurses, everyone is, in fact, packing their bags and leaving, Anderson. It's dark out. I don't know if you can see over there, but trucks will be taking these doctors and nurse ways.
What is so striking to me, as a physician, Anderson, and reporting the story for some time now, is patients who just had surgery, patients who are critically ill are essentially being left here with nobody to care for them.
LEMON: So here's the thing. As night falls, you know in Port- au-Prince there are fears, fears really, about the safety and concerns. We saw, you know, our Dr. Gupta there.
I want to say this before I get to you, Lieutenant General Russel Honore. You can put us on a two-shuttle shot. I can read this here. The doctors and nurses returned to that field office this morning, we're told. But you heard our Dr. Gupta say the doctors were ordered out by the United Nations. The U.N. denies that. Its chief of public information for the peacekeeping mission in Haiti says the U.N. did not order the evacuation, nor did any of its security officers.
Who's telling the truth, do you know? Would they order someone out, would they order doctors out?
HONORE: Last night it sounded pretty official word when the doctors received it. we actually watched it happen on the news. We happened to be on the show at that time when Sanjay was explaining what happened.
Look, the U.N. obviously is suffering from a lot of loss themselves, miscommunications. When I talked to my sources last night at 1:00 to figure out what they want to do about helping Dr. Gupta, the U.S. Command folks I talked to said, the U.N. is in the process of working out what they call medical protocol. I think that may be causing some confusion on the ground to include the hospital that we just saw on the U.N. compound that was told, look, evacuate by tomorrow morning.
LEMON: Did you know every second, every moment counts when people are injured like this. So even just that little bit of confusion, it can be -- it can escalate, it can snowball. People can die because of that.
HONORE: I have said it from day one. We've got to look at evacuating the injured.
HONORE: And until get capacity with the comfort, we'll get the operating room on the Vinson and operating room on the Bataania. We need to evacuate people out on those airplanes and get them back to the hospitals.
LEMON: All right I want you to stand by because this is also another security concern, because you know, as night falls, as you saw in New Orleans when you took the helm there, when night falls in Port- au-Prince, fear is rising among the survivors there. What little security Haiti once enjoyed has really virtually disappeared and it's opening a door really for violence.
I want to go now to CNN's Chris Lawrence, who joins us now from the capital. Chris, as night falls, again, as we said, there are major concerns there.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you can see, Don -- you can see the sun is rapidly setting behind me. and really security has two parts here in Port-au-Prince. There's the big community areas like this where a lot of people have gathered to kind of huddle together and sleep together at night. and then there's the more remote neighborhoods.
Just to kind of give you an idea what this is, the presidential palace is just behind me. So if you're there in the States, think of this like New York's Central Park or the National Mall in Washington, D.C. If there were disasters there, those would be natural places for people to come to gather together, to be close to maybe where the government is, where they might get some answers. and that's what we are seeing here, this park fills up every night.
I can tell you just from talking to people over the last couple of days, there is a -- a fear about what happens at night. So far, we haven't seen any major, major problems. But there have been gunshots at night. There have been some random reports of looting. And again, when you get out of these big community areas, there are very inaccessible places here in Port-au-Prince that are very, very hard to get to.
Dr. Hubert Marquette, you lived in Haiti your entire life. He's a surgeon here. He's been working with a lot of patients. But tell me about your concerns -- any concerns you have about security at night as these days go on.
DR. HUBERT HARQUETTE, HAITIAN SURGEON: I think security becomes a very important issue. People are looking for food, for water and for looting, and stores are still closed. They are hesitant to open their doors. Even in our work, NGOs, we're afraid of them sporting food and (INAUDIBLE). That's our concern.
LAWRENCE: He was telling me a second ago, Don, he was saying, you were saying now you're starting to get the food, the supplies, the medical supplies, a lot of the fuel. But that also sort of makes you a target for people who may need those things.
MARQUETTE: Yes. We are having civil meetings, all of the NGOs together, and we feel we need security to be able to conspire to the food we are getting, we are buying, even in the countries, and transport it to the -- to the poorest of the poor. It's a big concern. We need to do need to help people, but we have to have the means of doing it.
LAWRENCE: All right, thank you very much, Dr. Marquette.
I'll tell you, Don, just some of the differences that I've noticed today, we have seen a little bit more of a police presence. a few more of the Haitian police have been out. seen some various countries, you know, with the -- under the U.N. banner, some security forces coming through town. So perhaps it is starting to ramp up. I don't think nearly as fast as a lot of people would like. But we are starting to see some slight changes in the level of security forces here -- Don?
LEMON: Chris, thank you very much.
Chris, during your live shot, the sun is starting to go down. We can see the difference in the lighting. If you can -- I don't know if your photographer can hear me, we'll keep your shot up, because I'll talk to our Russel Honore.
LEMON: Thank you very much, Chris. We'll get back to you if it's not too dark, if we can see there.
He brings up a very big point. He said people are in this park, right, General? That they are gathering and they are -- safety in numbers. Is that correct?
HONORE: That's true. We saw it in New Orleans.
LEMON: As we look at -- I don't know if we have the pictures of the park where Chris was. but listen, as -- this has been, relatively speaking, considering how humongous this is, has this been calm considering that?
HONORE: Absolutely. I think they'll take the acts of a few criminals and characterize the people. That happened to us during Katrina. and there appears to be a natural fear among our people -- poor people, who are massed in a location, that there is going to be a security issue. We saw it in New Orleans repeatedly for the first three weeks because there was a crime problem there before.
There were crime issues going on in Haiti before the disaster. Few criminals could cause the entire operation to stop. That is why the first responders have to ensure that we don't do something like happened last night, move the doctors off because of security and leave 24 patients there on their own. That is stupid.
And hopefully, the U.N. protocols will get worked out. General Keen and the USAID folks will sort that out. Because right now, it is critical to save a lot of lives, they need to be evacuated to the ships, need to be evacuated out of the country until we get the hospitals up on the ground.
LEMON: General Russel Honore, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
We want to get to my good friend now in Washington. Wolf Blitzer is straight ahead with "The Situation Room" with a preview.
What do you have for us, Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: All right, Don, we're live here in "THE SITAUTION ROOM," We're following all the breaking news coming out of Haiti. We'll go down there, speak to our own Anderson Cooper; Elizabeth Cohen, our senior medical correspondent; Carl Penhaul. He's been in a dicey situation over the last couple of hours. we're checking in with all of them.
Plus, my interviews with former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
We have got a full hour of live breaking news coverage coming up right here in "The Situation Room."
Don, back to you.
LEMON: Thank you, Wolf. We'll be watching.
We want to tell our viewers that we're here to help you out. We'll go to CNN's Haiti missing desk. We have a desk set up to help people connect with their loved ones and friends that they're not able to get in contact with in Haiti.
Also, an orphanage in Haiti turned into a triage center. We're going to talk to the man who runs the orphanage via Skype, just moments away.
LEMON: I know you have seen so many really horrific images come in to CNN regarding the situation that is happening in Haiti, but really, that is the reality of it.
And take a look at this. we were on the phone earlier with CNN's Anderson Cooper who was at the scene of a rescue of a little girl there. I believe a 10-year-old girl on the scene. 10 or 11-year-old girl. they were using tapping to try to figure out exactly where she was or where she is to try to get to her and pull her from beneath that rubble. We're following that developing story right here on CNN.
Other children -- there is Anderson there. Anderson getting ready to be live, I imagine, for Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room" which is coming up at the top of the hour. So you're not going to miss anything.
I also want to tell you that CNN has become a primary path for people in Haiti to communicate with the rest of the world. CNN's iReport has thousands of photos of missing loved ones online. Access it at CNN.com/Haiti.
New ones are coming in constantly.
This one about a covenant -- a convent, I should say, in Bel Air. The iReporter says, "I just spoke with a sister in Brooklyn, New York, and she said that the sisters are screaming under the debris, and please send help ASAP, as soon as you can to save their lives. hurry up. they don't have much time."
Another iReporter writes, "I received a message from Adolfo Pronto (ph) from his Blackberry messenger. He's trapped in Delmas 95 (ph) inside the super market. He's desperate. He is desperate." So go and send us an iReport, send it to our desk, our Haiti desk, missing desk or just go to CNN.com and we'll get it for you and get it on the air.
You know, he's a member of the '90s hip-hop sensation, the Fugees, now Grammy-Award winner, Haitian-American musician. Pras Michel is trying to raise money for victims of the earthquake. And he joins us now live from New York.
It is so good to see you. How much aid have you guys been able to distribute there?
PRAS MICHEL, MUSICIAN: Well, from what I understand there is money being raised, but I think my main concern is making sure that people are actually receive every dollar that is actually supposed to be getting there for them.
LEMON: Yes, OK. So we're hearing reports that you guys are going to get back together for a benefit concert. Is that so?
MICHEL: Well, it would be mainly people on the web talking about it. But whatever we have to do. I haven't spoken to Wyclef or Lauren Hill yet, but if that's what is needed to raise money for Haiti, I'm sure it would work out to the best of Haiti.
LEMON: The chances of that happening is whether or not you guys decide if enough people get behind it, is that what you're saying?
MICHEL: Not even that, it is more about the logistics. The first concern is the short-term relief for the Haitians right now. They need water. They need food. And then we'll worry about a concert. That takes a little bit more time to put together.
LEMON; Yes, I think people are wondering about the concert because if you guys do get back together, it would have the potential to raise a lot of money and help a lot of people. But you still have family in Haiti. Are they safe? Have you heard from them?
MICHEL: I haven't heard from any of the families yet. I'm going to Haiti next week. But I've heard from a close friend who actually just left Haiti this morning -- as you know, it is very devastating down there. So communication being kind of hard to get to people down there.
LEMON: Yes. I only have about ten seconds left. Is there anything you want to say to the people here in America who are watching and are concerned about their relatives or to the people back in Haiti?
MICHEL: We just want to thank all the Americans who have been supporting the Haitians, all the money they have been donating. I want to make sure that all of the dollars that have been raised get to the Haitians that actually really need it. That's really my main concern.
LEMON: We appreciate you. Best of luck and let us know what happens with the Fugees and the possible benefit, OK?
MICHEL: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you.
I'm Don Lemon at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. "THE SITUATION ROOM" live with Wolf Blitzer begins right now.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Don, thank you.