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Sunday, January 17, 2010
Haitians pray, cry for help in the ruins - Yahoo! News
"PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Prayers of thanksgiving and cries for help rose from a roofless cathedral and the huddled homeless Sunday, the sixth day of an epic humanitarian crisis that was straining the world's ability to respond and igniting flare-ups of violence amid the rubble. A leading aid group echoed complaints about the supply bottleneck and skewed priorities at the U.S.-controlled airport. The general in charge said the U.S. military was "working aggressively" to speed up deliveries. In the ruins of the Port-Au-Prince cathedral, gathered beneath shattered stained glass for their first Sunday Mass since Tuesday's earthquake, survivors were told by their priest, "We are in the hands of God now." But anger mounted hourly that other helping hands were slow in getting food and water to millions in need. "The government is a joke. The U.N. is a joke," Jacqueline Thermiti, 71, said as she lay in the dust with dozens of dying elderly outside their collapsed nursing home near the airport. "We're a kilometer (half a mile) from the airport and we're going to die of hunger." Water was delivered to more people around the capital, where an estimated 300,000 were living in the streets, but food and medicine were still scarce. Pregnant women gave birth in the streets. The injured arrived in wheelbarrows and on people's backs at hurriedly erected field hospitals. Authorities warned of looting and violence. In downtown Port-au-Prince, where people set bonfires to burn uncollected bodies, gunfire rang out and bands of machete-wielding young men, their faces covered with bandanas, roamed the streets."