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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Crisis in Haiti

Aired January 14, 2010 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Now, they are just starting to wake up. Some of them have actual tents. Some of them just have a plastic sheet like this. Some people of course have nothing at all. There's not really any place for them to go. They can't go back to their homes.

If their homes haven't been destroyed already they're afraid that their homes may crumble in some of these aftershocks, because some of the aftershocks have been pretty significant.

Some people just congregate here and every day when they wake up they gather what few possessions they have and start walking, searching for food, searching for water, searching for some way to get through the day.

CLAUDE ADULT, SURVIVOR: Well, Haiti's bad, man...

COOPER: Yes.

ADULT: ... it is bad. They're too much for us here, man, too much.

COOPER: Claude Adult says his restaurant and home have been destroyed.

ADULT: Well, everybody died; so all my own pride are dead, so I lost everything. All I got here is my bag. That's all. Nothing left. And all I got here is some quarters that I got left. Nothing left. I'm broke. Everything -- I lost everything. That's what I got. All I got.

COOPER: One of the things that's so heartbreaking here is that all throughout the day people are constantly coming up to you and saying, you know, they have relatives in America and they want you to somehow get a message to their loved one.

And the message is, it's always simple. It's not a never a complex message. It's always just, "I'm alive, I'm alive and I'm ok."

Families seek shade wherever they can. On the streets the dead are silently carted by.

Aid is arriving. Help is coming. For Eddie Jasmine it's already too late. He's 10 years old. His father just died. All he has are these three small pictures. All he wants is to be with his father again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And just some of what we saw in a few minutes this morning walking around in the park behind me.

We're live all through this next hour. We're going to have more from Haiti. We'll talk to Ivan Watson and a number of our correspondents who had fanned out throughout this city as no one else can.

We'll also show you what's happening in the city's cemeteries and the hospitals and Cite Soleil, as complete the picture as we can give you what happened this day in Port-au-Prince.

Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And good evening again from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Aid from America and around the world starting to arrive with the full horror of Tuesday's quake everywhere you look.

First up this hour I want to give you the latest, including our first look at the catastrophe the second it began. 4:53 Tuesday afternoon, the shot of a roadway, a shopping mall in the background. The tremors hit; the up and down motion plainly extreme. After a few seconds the mall collapses.

Rubble everywhere tonight across Haiti's capital; hotels down; the U.N. Mission down; schools, hospitals, homes, destroyed. Many, if not most, as we're learning simply not built to withstand a quake. As many as three million people, a third of Haiti's population may be in need of shelter, of food, medical attention according to the Red Cross.

The agency also estimating 40,000 to 50,000 dead, though, at this point numbers are kind of meaningless. There's no way to really know just how many people have died.

Bodies nearly everywhere still on the streets. Some of them tended to individually and many being loaded right now or earlier tonight into dumpsters.

Now, at the airport a massive global relief effort is running into traffic jams. American forces have set up a makeshift air traffic control system to replace the damaged control tower, but the ramps base is low. Fuel is low.

The skies are dangerously crowded up above with literally tons of vital cargo circling at times waiting to land. The aircraft running low on fuel forced to return back sometimes. Charter flights canceled.

Within days if all goes well though, this is going to become one of the busiest airstrips on earth. Troops from the 82nd Airborne arrive today. Between 5,000 and 6,000 U.S. troops will be in country by Saturday, we're told.

Four Coast Guard cutters also arriving today; by tomorrow the airport will get some relief when the Carrier Carl Vinson is in position off shore bringing supplies, bringing helicopters, additional radar coverage for air traffic control. Other countries also sending major assistance.

President Obama today pledging $100 million in immediate help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to speak directly to the people of Haiti. Few in the world have endured the hardships that you have known. Long before this tragedy daily life itself was often a bitter struggle.

And after suffering so much for so long to face this new horror must cause some to look up and ask, have we somehow been forsaken? To the people of Haiti we say clearly and with conviction, you will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: President Obama today, saying Haiti will not be forgotten. From where we stand it is impossible to imagine that memories will ever fade.

Bodies everywhere, as we've said and on every street corner though, you see people helping complete strangers; neighbors helping neighbors. People from the Dominican Republic trying to send in relief; businesses, we talked to a Dominican businessman yesterday, a guy by the last name of Astrelo (ph) whose company the Astrelo Construction does a lot of projects here.

He has been sending his equipment from around the country, to try to get aid into Port-au-Prince to try to help. He lent us a vehicle today which we really appreciate. It's very hard to get around.

Today we came across a family on the way to bury a loved one. It is just one family's struggle. And we wanted you to see it. And they wanted you to see it more importantly.

We asked them if it would be all right as we followed them to the cemetery as they buried their daughter. And they agreed because they wanted people to know her name, they wanted people to know and see her face and to know what she went through and what so many families are going through here in the last several days.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's become an all too common sight. A coffin wheeled down a Port-au-Prince street. This is a woman named Bridgit Jean Baptiste (ph), she was 28 years old. She was a journalist; she was actually teaching a class they say when the walls collapsed on her.

Bridgit's father, sister and brothers accompany the coffin barely noticing the other bodies still lying in the road.

Bridgit was pulled out of the rubble alive. They couldn't find a doctor to treat her.

"She wasn't dead when we found her at 11:00," he says. "She died at 1:00. She could have been saved but we didn't find any help." These are the only pictures they have of Bridgit, all they have to remember her by.

Bridgit's family isn't even sure if there is a space in the cemetery for them to bury her and they frankly don't have much money to pay for a space. They spent all the money that they could find on her casket.

But they wanted to bring her body here as quickly as possible to try to give her a decent burial. Now, they're just going to try to negotiate whatever they can.

At the cemetery they're told to wait. There are too many bodies still to be buried, too many families consumed by grief.

"There are tons of dead people," this woman cries. "Everyone in my house, my neighbors are dead except me."

"My friends, please help us," this man says. "Isn't there anyone who can help us here? Help us, help us, God is great. Help us to live."

Every few minutes more bodies arrived.

Little dignity in death in Port-au-Prince these days, some families are able to afford coffins. And you see plenty of those. But a lot of people are separated from their families. And so when they die families don't even know they're dead and no one knows who these bodies are.

So they're just brought -- they're just brought to the cemetery literally piled into mounds. There's probably about 20 or so people here, many of them small children. Cemetery workers here are saying they're doing the best they can. They're trying to give dignity to as many people as possible. But they're simply overwhelmed at this point.

Bridgit's family is finally told where they can place her casket. She'll be put in an old crypt that still has some empty space. It appears to belong to another family. There are no songs, no personal eulogies, there's little time and far too much confusion.

"God in heaven," her father prays, "we return to you this girl who's gone. In the name of the father, son, and holy spirit, amen."

"What God gives," her brother says, "he takes away."

A few concrete blocks are used to seal the crypt. Just one more of this city's dead now laid to rest. No marker, no flowers, Bridgit Jean Baptiste has been sealed in someone else's tomb. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And an awful lot of people are being buried in other family's tombs.

They're basically opening up it seems, old crypts; as far as we can tell that's what they're doing. And we saw a number of bodies just being shoved into these crypts. Their names aren't being recorded, photographs are being taken. And as I said before, some of these people are simply just going to disappear.

But block by block and often with their bare hands people continue to search for survivors. Perhaps fewer than did yesterday. There's a lot of fear that the time has already passed.

But there have been incredible rescues of victims trapped since the quake hit. Some end in heartbreak there's no doubt about it. But others in what seem like miracles.

Ivan Watson was on the scene with one struggle to free a girl. This is what he saw earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We can hear her voice sometimes. There's an 11-year-old girl named Anaeka San Luis (ph). She's pinned underneath this rubbles. And the volunteers here are snaking through a hose right now to give her some drinking water. She's about ten feet away. And you can see the braids of this little girl's hair. I talked with her. She's wearing glasses and she's crying. She's in a lot of pain right now and she's terribly scared.

This little girl -- it's kind of heartbreaking to hear this. Because she's pinned there, the right leg is underneath the concrete and her hands are free and her leg is free and she's talking to us. They're trying to give her some drinking water right now. They've given her some food already. They only discovered her today.

Two days after the earthquake. They think there are several dozen other people trapped under the rubble, probably did not survive. They're desperately trying to figure out how to get her out.

They're thinking about trying to cut her leg. They have anesthetics but they don't have blood to help her if they have to cut her leg off to get her out. So they don't know what to do right now.

When they cut with the saw she doesn't like it at all. It hurts a lot. Then they put a little Bible next to her and you know, there's a pretty little girl. She has braids. She's got black reading glasses and a chipped front tooth. And we were talking to her and she's terribly scared right now. And her mother is beside herself.

This is just one case here. And we were on a neighboring hilltop and there were two little French girls trapped under a building there. And only one French fireman working to try to help them out and he was passing them water. This is something that is probably replaying itself all across Port-au-Prince and there's just not enough rescue workers to help. These guys they say if they could just get the right equipment they need they could, perhaps, lift some of this and get her out without cutting her leg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Part of a dead body.

WATSON: They've pulled -- we don't want to really show that. They've pulled a piece of a dead body -- this is very difficult -- that was next to her. And they're trying to free out some area around this -- around this little girl and we understand that there are, perhaps, some 30 other relatives and neighbors who were trapped underneath the rubble.

And this is just one house. We are seeing scenes like this all over the city.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Ivan Watson joins me. Unbelievable what you saw today. And all it took was an electric saw.

WATSON: In the end that's all it took. They've got a power saw, a very small generator and shortly after 6:00 p.m. They were able to cut through that steel beam and bring little Anaeka (ph) out. Now, she faces a big hurdle now. And she's got pretty serious wounds on her right leg which was crushed there. And as you know the hospitals here are pretty overwhelmed. So how is she going to get treatments?

COOPER: Do you know where she is now?

WATSON: She had been taken to a first aid center. We got in touch with her uncle. And then, they've been advised to take her to a good quality hospital for Haiti, but located some three hours' drive outside of the capital.

COOPER: So do you -- but we don't know if they're going to do that or going to be able to?

WATSON: We're going to have to follow-up in the morning. As you know, the cell phone systems are just a big mess right now.

COOPER: And something like that, I mean, she's still, I mean, her life is still in jeopardy. I mean, there could be an infection, there could be something worse.

WATSON: Absolutely. That's just one hurdle. And she's not the only person we saw in these types of conditions. We were at another house where two little French girls were trapped, similar conditions, one French fireman trying to help them out. We've since heard through acquaintances that those girls did manage to escape in the end, but 48 hours they were trapped underground and there's no system in place to help pull these dwindling numbers of survivors out.

COOPER: And, and, I mean, again, it's just such an example that the clock is ticking. I mean, time is not on people's side and whether or not somebody just stops and helps that can make all the difference in the world.

WATSON: Absolutely. And that is something that's amazing here. It's purely volunteers here. These are neighborhood boys, neighborhood men who are coming out, they are digging in there in the rubble, they are digging literally through cadavers to try to pull out some of these survivors.

And they have no training whatsoever. They're improvising on the spot and they're saving lives. These guys are real heroes, the citizens of Port-au-Prince.

COOPER: Yes and you wonder where their government officials, where are their police and their government rescue workers? It's -- these international folks who are coming in increasingly. And I mean, again, as I said it always has been up to the Haitian people to save their own lives.

An incredible story today, thank you so much. We really appreciate it, Ivan. We're going to have more of Ivan later in the program.

Saving the youngest of victims, that story is coming up; a story that will stay with all of us for a long time. Dr. Sanjay Gupta tends to a 15-day-old child. We will have his report ahead next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I send a message to my sister living in Oakland and my daughter living in Greenwich, Connecticut. I'm here, I'm safe. I want to let everybody know that everything's ok.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Safe and ok, one person who made it out of the earthquake alive.

We're going to continue to bring you survivor messages for all the relatives who are watching in the United States and around the world.

Evidence that even with all the suffering we have seen that there is hope and hope remains.

News crews earlier today caught people singing a popular song, the lyrics roughly translated are "God will be with you through the tears, God will protect you."

People doing whatever they can to hang on to whatever and whomever they can. Another part of what you see on the streets is incredible human need for what is, let's be honest, most of us take for granted.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta saw some of it today when he was summoned to try to help a parent and a baby who needed medical attention.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We're walking through the streets of Port-au-Prince right now to get a real idea of what things are like here. There's just very little in the way of resources or very little in the promise of help.

A 15-day-old baby with some sort of head injury; they're begging for a doctor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Gupta.

GUPTA: Yes, what happened? Turn this on, please? Can you tell me what happened, specifically?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The house collapsed. The mother died.

GUPTA: How has she been?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see, (INAUDIBLE), we just have bandage.

GUPTA: So she's moving both of her arms. That's a good sign. Moving both of her legs. Can you look through there again and see if you have any more gauze?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have some big gauze. I can cut it down.

GUPTA: She has a pretty significant laceration here. What I need to make sure is she doesn't have a skull fracture underneath. The good news is I don't think she does so that's good.

This is ok. No skull fracture underneath here. She's got a big laceration underneath her skull, but she is moving all four extremities. Hey, sweetie. Hi, sweetie. Hi.

How old is she?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifteen days.

GUPTA: She's going to need some antibiotics and we're going to need to redress this wound. Let's go ahead and do that with some clean -- get a clean piece of that and that gauze.

So this is what's happening out here in the streets of Port-au- Prince. In this case, a 15-day-old baby who was in the earthquake.

Yes, let me have you hold that for a second. Yes. That is sort of the forehead.

So she has no skull fracture. She does have a big laceration and is going to need antibiotics. But she does not appear to have a head injury. I think she's going to be ok.

She's sucking her thumb. She's good. She should get some antibiotics. We'll try and find some. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Yes, I mean, it must be such an incredible feeling to have that knowledge, to have that ability to help a little child like that in that situation, Sanjay.

I mean, you're in Cite Soleil right now which I mean, in a city where there's widespread poverty that is really the poorest of the poor.

What's the situation like there? I haven't gotten over there yet. In terms of damage, in terms of the needs of the people in Cite Soleil, how are things?

GUPTA: Well, there's a lot of damage all around this place. And it seems somewhat arbitrary. You'll have a building that's completely collapsed next to one that seems fine and then another one that's collapsed. It's hard to figure out how that exactly happened.

But we are at one of the only standing hospitals certainly in this area if not the entire city. And as you might imagine, you might expect, as is too off often the case, these places that are already so -- have such poor resources are the hardest hit in natural disasters like this.

It's hard to call this actually a functioning hospital because they have such a lack of resources, basic things like gauze, antibiotics, pain medications yet they're still trying to take care of patients.

Anderson, I don't know if you can tell here behind me, it's sort of a makeshift area, family members trying to sit with their loved ones who are patients here. These are often people who were really told they can't get care either because they're not sick enough or because they are too sick.

Things that I saw out here today, someone who was doing a skin debridement for burns on the back of someone's head; IT was a family member doing that. A caesarian section was performed here earlier today. Glad to report that mom and baby are both doing fine. And open fracture of someone's leg was also set. Again, all of that outside. That's sort of what's going on out here -- Anderson.

COOPER: I mean, can you do surgery outside? I mean, is that -- you can -- I mean, is that's possible?

GUPTA: It's what's necessary it seems. And really, frankly, inside versus outside really doesn't seem to make a big difference here. There's no electricity, there's no running water inside.

In fact you got more daylight during the day outside which I think is part of the reasons they were performing some of these operations outside.

One of the most difficult things to watch, Anderson, something that we've talked about as well with some of the video that I'm about to show you. It is certainly difficult to watch. But there's a lot of the folks here wanted to show up because they wanted to have a reminder of how undignified so many things have become here.

What a lack of human dignity there is, bodies being brought out. These are people who are deceased and then brought out on tarps and their bodies are being thrown into these bulldozer-type machines.

These are human bodies we're looking at. A complete, again, lack of dignity; subsequently those bodies thrown into those dump trucks. Anderson, I know you saw these as well.

I talked to the mayor of this particular area. And he said, look, we're not going to spend the time to identify these bodies. These bodies are going to just be taken away. And they're going to disappear. I don't know where they went after this but they were taken far from here -- Anderson.

COOPER: We'll have more with Sanjay. Sanjay thank you.

Human beings, this is what it's come to.

Our breaking news on the earthquake in Haiti continues after the break. We're going to have to the latest on the relief effort. How much is coming in. Who's getting what?

Next on the program.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KINSET JIMBROTH (PH): My name Kinset Jimbroth (ph) I want to know, to my father to know I'm ok in Port-au-Prince. You know? I'm very lucky.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm ok, Copa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, help is on the way here. Massive amounts of it, but getting it to the quake victims will not be easy. There's a lot of logistics still to go through here.

We'll talk about some of the challenges with Alejandro Chicheri of the World Food Program and Matt Marek of the American Red Cross.

Alejandro, first of all the World Food Program, what are you guys able to bring in at this point? And what are you hoping to bring in?

ALEJANDRO CHICHERI, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: Ok, already we have -- we did have many stops in the country that we're using them and we'll...

COOPER: So you already have supplies here in place?

CHICHERI: Yes. We were assisting already one million people in Haiti before...

COOPER: So even before the quake you were assisting one million people?

CHICHERI: One million people, more than 1 million people. I mean, it was yesterday, the aftermath of the hurricanes last season in 2008 and (INAUDIBLE) poverty as you can see.

COOPER: And in terms of stuff in the pipeline, do you have more in the pipeline? Or do you have enough here in Haiti?

CHICHERI: Yes, just one weekend, we can assist up to one million people for the next two weeks but then we will run out of supplies and will need more.

COOPER: And what kind of assistance is it? I mean, is it just, what kind of, is it or your food?

CHICHERI: It's food but emergency rations. There are high- energy biscuits that they are very easy to distribute and the people can eat, we don't have cooking facilities that is a problem there...

COOPER: And are you handing them out already?

CHICHERI: Yes. We distribute today for some 2,500 people in three different distribution points especially the (INAUDIBLE) hospital where the most worn-out (ph) people is now.

COOPER: And Matt, in terms of the American Red Cross, what are you focusing on?

MAREK: We're focusing on all the things around; logistics, medical units coming in the country, being prepared to serve communities that all over Port-au-Prince have been affected by the earthquake.

COOPER: The organization element -- that has to be at this point the most difficult thing.

MAREKS: Absolutely. Alejandro and I were just talking about that's our biggest challenge for both of us for all the institutions. Certainly it's one thing to get all the supplies here, to get them out to the populations in a manner that's going to be appropriate, acceptable, and safe for those that are still victimized. It's going to be very, very difficult.

COOPER: It's amazing you have enough supplies to feed 1 million people for the next two weeks but after that's it's a very open question.

CHICHERI: That's why we expect Americans to be as generous as they've been in the past because we really, really need it. These people will need it for sure.

COOPER: What's the greatest difficulty you face in terms of the World Food Program? CHICHERI: At this moment it is the broad bulkage (ph) and we have also problems with accessing many points. And then there will be some problems distributing especially to this huge amount (ph) of people because the distribution on over 5,000 people gets very messy.

COOPER: Is any one group or person in charge?

MAREK: No, no. I mean, we are all part of a cluster system. I think we've done some successful coordination in Haiti in the past, specifically Red Cross and WFP, but right now we can't point to -- we have to rely on the systems that are in place and hopefully they work and see what we can go with.

COOPER: At what point do you think in your best estimate do you think people, Haitians, will see significant, you know, significant change in their status on the streets in Port-au-Prince?

MAREK: I think it's going to take a very long time. We don't know how many houses are damaged already, so until everyone is somewhere where they're comfortable and then they feel at home and they're starting to rebuild their livelihoods that's the moment.

COOPER: I've heard the Haitian government is trying to encourage people who have relatives in the countryside in areas that are not damaged to have those people if they can to go out and stay with their relatives for a while.

MAREK: Yes. That's what we both heard as well, too. I think there are some pros and cons to that and hopefully, you know, both work and, you know, in the favor of the relief efforts.

COOPER: The cons would be what? Getting people out on the road?

CHICHERI: It's difficult to assess people when they're spread in different parts. It's easy to give them in one single distribution and one single spot. However, as you see, there's no water, there's no electricity. Maybe there will not be supplies in a couple days maybe in the week to come in many areas so the people may...

COOPER: What about all these people who are in parks? At some point will there be sort of one central displaced persons camp?

MAREK: I think we're going to be looking for some time to come at multiple camps spread throughout and to build on what Alejandro said, a pro to migration outside -- Haiti's culture that has a lot of connections out to the provinces.

The truth is we're going to need support from the families of the individuals that are in Port-au-Prince that are going out to these provinces. They shouldn't be going out if they don't have a place to go. But if they have friends, relatives, they have cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmothers that are out there then it's probably a good idea that they do take advantage of those internal families.

COOPER: I know it's been a long day for both of you. I appreciate you taking the time to talk about what the World Food Program -- WFP -- is doing, as well as the American Red Cross. We'll be checking in with you Matt Marek. Thanks very much. And Alejandro Chicheri as well, thank you.

Just ahead, the race to deliver help -- and by the way, you can go to our Web site, AC360.com or the CNN.com site for more information on how to help the WFP, American Red Cross and other organizations.

As we said, cargo is arriving but it's also backing up; why getting crucial supplies to the quake victims is such a tough job. That's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX, SURVIVOR: I'm Alex. I want to send a message for my family in New Jersey. Julian (ph) everything is well. My mom and my brother, my sister; everything is all right. I'm okay. I'm safe. Thanks, bye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Just seeing a bulldozer pass by, dumping some bodies into the back of a dump truck and driving off. We're not sure where they are going to be taking those bodies, but as you saw earlier in the show they're dumping a lot of bodies at the cemeteries and putting them into these crypts.

There are a lot of priorities right now in Port-au-Prince in trying to bring in aid. The help is trickling in, planes from around the world arrived at the airport today. At sea ships are also on their way.

Chris Lawrence had been covering the latest on both of those important fronts. Here's his report from earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: What everyone keeps asking is why is the aid not getting to Haiti faster? Well, we found out one reason. There are major problems here at the main port of Port-au-Prince. See that huge green structure right there? That is the primary crane that would pick up those huge containers right off the ship and deposit them onshore to then be trucked into the city. You can see some of the damage with the hangar.

Normally the ships would pull up right down there. They would come off right towards the end there, they would offload a lot of their equipments on the trucks and those trucks would just drive straight down this road right here. But you can see -- look what they've run into.

The earthquake has buckled the road almost as tall as I am. There's no way you're going to get a truck through there. And I can tell you on the other side that road is buckled all the way out to the main road. You can see all of those yellow and white cases. That is humanitarian aid that has been loaded on to those trucks to start heading out to the community right now. Just in the last hour we have seen several more search-and-rescue teams arrive. South Florida Search and Rescue just got here and took off hitting the streets about 20 minutes ago.

And you can see how international this effort is. Way at the other end of the airport there's a Canadian plane. Right in front of it an Italian plane. The U.S. Air Force is standing right there. Looking at a private airline here. Back the other way is a French plane.

What I'm told is they did -- we did confirm that they were having planes circle around before landing. That was holding up some of the aid. I'm told it's simply a space issue. That they simply cannot land the planes and get them unloaded or loaded as quickly as they would like to get them back in the air to clear space for yet another plane to land.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Chris Lawrence joins us now live. I mean, getting aid in is a lot more difficult than it may seem. Even if the ships are offshore.

LAWRENCE: Yes. You get the aid to the area of Haiti. That's one hurdle. But actually getting it offloaded which is what it needs to do and then getting it out to these communities, that's a whole different problem entirely.

COOPER: Someone asked me this question today. I came up with an answer but I'm not sure if it's the right one. I don't know if you know the answer. Why don't they just drop supplies down into parts of the city? My answer was that that would create panic and havoc and crowd control issues and people could get killed in that. You have any...

LAWRENCE: I'll tell you why that would not be a good idea. Yesterday when we were at the airport, a simple police van pulled up. He had submarine sandwiches, he had some bottles of water. He started passing them around and everybody was really happy. Everybody started crowding around him.

Pretty soon after a while you started to see the strongest people, the men, push their way to the front. The women start falling back. The older people start falling back. And then when he ran out -- we couldn't believe how many -- how much stuff he actually packed in his van. When he finally ran out people started pushing. People started shoving.

Nothing bad but you could see this was not too long after the earthquake. You give it a few days where people are hungrier, they're thirstier, they're more tired and frustrated, on a much larger scale. Where instead of maybe 20 people pushing, you have 200 people or 1,000 people pushing. That has a potential to really go bad. COOPER: The U.S. Military is going to -- it's going to be taking over air traffic control at the airport and have already brought in assets. Already there are bottlenecks at the airports in terms of getting supplies in by air.

LAWRENCE: Yes and we saw that today. They were having planes just circle around the airport because there was no space to land.

One of the officials told me that on a normal day they do about 25 to 30 flights a day. By 3:00 in the afternoon they had done twice that.

It's only one runway. It takes time to get a lot of the evacuees loaded on some of these planes or to offload a lot of these supplies. So there's just no space. You have these planes that want to get in but if there's no space on the runway what do you do?

COOPER: Yes. Chris, appreciate the reporting as always. Thank you. Chris Lawrence for us.

To help the earthquake victims go to cnn.com/impact. You're going to find a list of aid organizations that are working here on the ground. You can also make a $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting Haiti, that's h-a-i-t-i to 900999. Also Wyclef Jean has a charity, Yele Haiti, you can text y-e-l-e to 501501.

Up next, the will to survive; Gary Tuchman brings us the incredible efforts to save a woman trapped in the rubble of a collapsed supermarket.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We have new images just in of another rescue. This is an American being saved, her name is Carla Shown (ph); French firefighter pulling her from the rubble of the Montana Hotel here in town which collapsed in the quake. The crew just one of many arriving here today.

Gary Tuchman came across a rescue team from Iceland trying to free a woman trapped inside a market that had collapsed. He was actually on his way to do a different story when he came across this one.

Take a look. Gary joins us live with the details -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, hello to you. Right now we're at the sleeping base camp. The sleeping quarters for the Iceland search and rescue team. They've had quite a day. Some very good news; their whole mission and what they do is to rescue people, rescue them alive and they did that at a shopping mall in Port-au-Prince today about 30 minutes away from here. It is called the Caribbean Market.

At the Caribbean Market sadly many people have died; it's unknown how many. It's a great number, though, because there are four stories. However, since last night they heard a sound inside. They heard a woman knocking. They heard a woman shouting. Her voice was very faint but they kept at it. For 50 hours this woman was inside the Caribbean Market.

And then they found out where she was and they let us in the building with them. We had to navigate through incredible debris and devastation to get to the point. We went inside and then we saw feet coming through the ceiling. They were under her. They cut a hole in the ceiling and they were able to bring her down through the hole and then they took her down the ladder.

It was a 30-year-old Faradia Morse (ph). Faradia Morse was in good shape. 50 hours in complete and utter darkness inside. She couldn't see anything that entire time. But miraculously, they say, she didn't have a scratch. She hurt her back a little bit, but she was in good shape. She was surrounded entombed. There was nothing on top of her. She couldn't get out.

If she wasn't loud enough they may never have heard her. Ultimately she came outside. They put a hole on the wall outside of the market. She came outside to applause. We talked to her as she came outside of the market.

Then what was really dramatic, of course, you wondered if she had family members. She certainly did. Her mother, her sister, her brother, nieces and nephews greeted her outside. They could not believe their good fortune and good luck that after 50 hours their loved one came out of that market alive. Everyone was elated and we got a chance to talk to her shortly after.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FARADIA MORSE, SURVIVOR: Well, to be honest, no. Because the first thing I did is to think of my parents. I did not want them to lose me. I'm the only child.

The second thing, I never stopped -- but never stopped once praying. And I'm going to tell you something. I'm someone who prays a lot, and now -- I'm very grateful that I never lost faith, though because I was telling him thank you because I was in a place since early where I was protected by the booths that had products and only the walls ...

TUCHMAN: Let me ask you, where were you in the store?

MORSE: Yes, just -- I just walked in -- walked in, left work. I walked in, going home. And I did not make it.

TUCHMAN: You look like you have makeup on. You look beautiful.

MORSE: Yes, I had makeup. I was coming from work, though. And that's it. And when it happened I was very shocked.

TUCHMAN: Did you know what happened?

MORSE: Well, I presumed that it was an earthquake but I would not be 100 percent sure because it happened so fast. My God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: Faradia is a very fortunate woman and also very lucky that the 35 members of the Icelandic search and rescue team were on the scene. One sad thing she told me and there are so many sad stories to report, but this is particularly sad.

She said for the first seven or eight hours that she was trapped in the darkness she heard lots of screams, crying and yelling. She says slowly and gradually those screams, crying and yelling started to soften and over the last 20 hours she heard absolutely nothing. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: You know, we hear these stories and just imagine being trapped in the darkness for 50 hours hearing people around you screaming and then gradually dying around you. Then to have these people from, you know, the other side of the world cut a hole in a wall and suddenly you have life again.

It's just -- it's extraordinary and gives hope to people who still may have loved ones trapped and who still may be alive.

How did they know to go there? That's one of the concerns a lot of folks have here that because there's not really any central organization that, you know, groups are just kind of going wherever their instincts tell them to go or wherever they happen up. Did they know in particular to go to that marketplace?

TUCHMAN: Yes, they did, because there was another group there earlier from Venezuela. And they reported they heard some noise.

The Icelandic men came; they rescued two people earlier in the day about 20 hours before. And they continued to hear her but didn't know where her voice was coming from, it was impossible to tell. It was only five hours before they pulled her out that they found out where she was.

And the way they found out is she said there were ketchup bottles near her. They determined it was the ketchup aisle and they have the architect of the market comes says, "The ketchup aisle is here." And that's how they ultimately were able to find her and cut the hole in the ceiling to get her out.

COOPER: Wow. That is unbelievable that they got that architect to see where the ketchup was. I mean that's just incredible.

Gary, appreciate it. Thank them for all of us.

We have a lot more ahead here in Haiti, but first let's get caught up in some of tonight's other top stories. Jessica Yellin in New York has a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Jessica.

YELLIN: Hey Anderson. Here are some of the other stories making news tonight. Federal officials say there's no imminent terror the threat in the U.S., but they believe there are viable operatives ready to strike. A reliable source familiar with the Christmas day bombing investigation tells CNN the operatives are trained, equipped and have instructions, but they may not have a go order just yet.

In central Afghanistan a deadly suicide bombing; at least 15 people were killed in the attack at a market. The death toll is likely to rise as they find more victims in the rubble.

Back here at home in the nation's capital, Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is facing a felony charge for allegedly carrying a gun without a license. It's in connection with a locker room confrontation he had with a teammate last month. Arenas will face a judge tomorrow. He has already been suspended indefinitely by the NBA pending the outcome of the investigation.

Retail sales fell .3 percent last month. That comes as a surprise to economists who had expected sales to rise .5 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment rose last week to 444,000; an increase of 11,000 from the previous week. Economists were expecting those claims to grow by just 4,000.

And turning to relief aid for Haiti; several credit card companies are vowing not to profit off donations to Haiti. American Express, Mastercard and Visa tell CNN they will now waive their transaction fee which cuts up to 3 percent off every donation. The move comes after several members of Congress blasted the companies and after CNN called those card companies asking why they had been taking a percentage of the donations. The companies say they changed their process, and will reimburse charities for the fees they collected.

So a little bit of good news, Anderson; people can now know 100 percent of their credit card donations will go to the relief organization they chose.

COOPER: As it should be.

Jessica, thanks.

Inside what was the city's main prison, the inmates have all escaped. We'll show you what remains and what danger may be lurking for people with all these inmates running around. We'll show you ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: With all that is going on here, to add insult to injuries, the inmates in the prison in downtown Port-au-Prince have escaped. I went to the prison this morning to find out the situation.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): At the prison in downtown Port-au-Prince, the inmates have escaped. The rubble is all that remains.

(on camera): We'd heard the prison was destroyed, we didn't realize we'd find the door wide open.

(voice-over): Inside prisoners possessions are strewn about, signs of overcrowding are everywhere. This jail was meant to hold some 1,200 inmates, but at the time of the quake there were more than 4,500.

(on camera): We've been told that there were three dead bodies here. It turns out there's actually four -- four men. It looks like they were crushed by falling debris. There's actually dried blood all here on the floor. We just saw a young man, a little boy, who was looking for his brother, looking at the bodies.

A lot of these people may never be identified. They're already almost swollen beyond recognition, and it's not clear how soon these men will be collected and buried.

A lot of people, I think, in Port-au-Prince will simply just disappear. Their bodies will never be identified and their families will never know what really happened to them.

(voice-over): People take whatever supplies they can find. With businesses closed, there's still money to be made.

(on camera): You can see the walls of the prison are still intact, so it's not as if the entire prison collapsed and the prisoners were able to escape. We're not exactly sure what happened here, but a U.N. source tells us they believe the prisoners rioted after the earthquake, took over the facility from the guards, and then were able to escape from a variety of different routes.

We found this rope, which has been tied around a post and then thrown over the side of this prison wall; it goes about 30 or 40 feet. Clearly inmates were using this rope to try to escape. And all along these walls there's bloody hand prints and streaks of blood.

(voice-over): With Haiti's police stretched thin, there's little hope of rounding up all the inmates anytime soon. This man is the prison warden.

(on camera): How big a concern is that the prisoners are out there?

"When you have criminals, bandits, assassins who terrorize the population," he says, "and we have all these types here it's a big problem for the country."

(on camera): Another big problem for this problem prone country. The last thing they need to deal with in these difficult days.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The last thing indeed. We'll have more from Port-au- Prince in a moment. Stay tuned. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Reporters cover stories but for all us who are here for CNN, this is not just some story. This is life and death. And for the people of Haiti this is life and death, and their stories deserve to be told.

We'll be here tomorrow at 10:00; I hope you join us for that. Our coverage continues tonight, tomorrow, and in the days and weeks ahead. We'll see you tomorrow night.