Haitian quake victims rush aid sites, take food and supplies

Haitian quake victims rush aid sites, take food and supplies

Les Cayes (Haiti): Haitians left hungry and homeless by a devastating earthquake swarmed relief trucks and in some cases stole desperately needed goods Friday as leaders of the poor Caribbean nation struggled to coordinate aid and avoid a repeat of their chaotic response to a similar tragedy 11 years ago.

The attacks on relief shipments illustrate the rising frustration of those left homeless after the Aug. 14 magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which killed nearly 2,200 people, injured more than 12,000 and destroyed or damaged more than 100,000 homes.

I have been here since yesterday, not able to do anything, said 23-year-old Sophonie Numa, who waited outside an international aid distribution site in the small city of Camp-Perrin, located in the hard-hit southwestern Les Cayes region. I have other people waiting for me to come back with something.

Numa said her home was destroyed in the quake and that her sister broke her leg during the temblor.

The food would help me a lot with the kids and my sister, she said.

George Prosper was also in the large, anxious crowd awaiting aid.

I am a victim. I was removed from under the debris, the 80-year-old Prosper said. I don't feel well standing up right now. I can barely hold myself up.

In the small port city of Les Cayes, an AP photographer saw people stealing foam sleeping pads from a truck parked at a Red Cross compound, while others stole food that was slated for distribution, said Jean-Michel Saba, an official with the country's civil protection agency.

Police managed to safely escort the food truck away, Saba said. He did not say how much was taken. People also stole tarps from a truck in a community outside

Les Cayes.

Similar thefts appeared to take place in the small town of Vye Terre near Les Cayes, where a second AP photographer witnessed a group of men pulling large sacks from a half-opened container truck. People then grabbed the sacks and rushed off. One man who made away with a parcel of food was immediately surrounded by others who tried to grab it from him as people nearby screamed.

Next Story
Share it