Haiti Relief: Anger Mounts Among Desperate Haitians Over Supplies Stuck at Airport

Some 60 aid flights jammed Haiti's international airport and were unloading tons of water, food, blankets, medicine and other survival equipment.

U.S. officials also reported at least 14 U.S. military flights into the Port-au-Prince airport -- including eight C-17 transport planes and six C-130 aircraft.

So many relief planes had arrived that the U.S. Air Force, which had assumed control of the airport to direct traffic, was having trouble finding room for more planes to land.

In the aftermath of the quake, the airport lacks a control tower and radar, and has little equipment to refuel the planes so they can depart, or stairs to access the planes.

Haiti therefore accepted technical help today from the U.S. Federal Avaition Administration.

The Haitians still control the airspace over Haiti, but the FAA now has instituted procedures to try to ease the flow of planes into the airspace and into the airport and to try to ensure safety.

That meant that as of 7 p.m. Friday, the FAA planned to coordinate air traffic flow management into Haiti. At the request of the international community and Haiti's neighbors, Haiti and the FAA were to work together to prioritize incoming and outgoing flights.

The U.S.-Haiti agreement on regulating air traffic also enabled U.S. doctors to legally treat patients in Haiti.

Two dozen search and rescue teams from all over the world already have arrived in Haiti, each team comprised of between 70 to 80 people plus equipment, according to Dr. Rajiv Shah, the USAID administrator who is coordinating the U.S. response.

When asked about criticism that the rescue teams are only helping foreigners and the wealthy, Shah insisted that the teams were deployed "with direct guidance to reach Haitians and to make saving the Haitian lives a priority along with saving the lives of U.S. citizens."

As of late Friday afternoon, the State Department had confirmed six American deaths -- but 15 more possible deaths either were pending confirmation or notification of families, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. In addition, three U.S. officials remained unaccounted for, and the U.S. embassy had approximately 5,000 unresolved missing persons reports.

Crowley added at least 197 Americans had been evacuated Friday -- on top of hundreds moved out on previous days.

Former President Clinton announced that the State Department has added a new feature to its Haiti earthquake Web site called the "person finder" that is designed to make it easier for people to locate lost loved ones in Haiti.

Clinton voiced concern for the plight of Americans in Haiti.

"I'm very troubled," he said. "Communication is still very difficult. And we are encouraged by those with whom we have made contact and the hundreds and hundreds that we've evacuated at their request. But we're working feverishly to track down as many as we possibly can."

U.S. Fundraising Efforts

Donations have been pouring in from all over the world. Mobile texting donations to the Red Cross have now topped $10 million. As of Friday afternoon, the Red Cross reported that donations have totaled nearly $60 million.

The United States has pledged more than $100 million in support, with the World Bank pledging an additional $100 million. Corporations have donated over $40 million.

ABC News' Kirit Radia, Lisa Stark and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9573873. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9573873. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9573873. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9573873. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9573873. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9573873.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...