By MIKE MELIA, Associated Press Writer Mike Melia, Associated Press Writer – 9 mins ago
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Desperately needed aid from around the world began arriving in quake-stunned Haiti on Thursday, while rescuers struggled frantically to save the trapped and injured, turning pickup trucks into ambulances and doors into stretchers.
Planes carrying teams from China and France, Spain and the United States landed at Port-au-Prince's airport with searchers and tons of water, food, medicine and other supplies — with more promised from around the globe.
It took six hours to unload a Chinese plane because the airport lacked the needed equipment — a hint of possible bottlenecks ahead as a global response brings a stream of relief flights to the airport, itself damaged by Tuesday's magnitude-7 earthquake.
Search and rescue squads from Virginia and Iceland arrived Wednesday and some groups — from Cuba's government and Doctors Without Borders — used staff already in the country to treat victims immediately after the quake.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that "tens of thousands, we fear, are dead" and said United States and the world must do everything possible to help Haiti surmount its "cycle of hope and despair."
The U.S. dispatched troops and ships along with aid to Haiti, and other nations were joining the effort to help the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, where the international Red Cross estimated 3 million people — a third of the population — may need emergency relief.
In the streets of the capital, survivors set up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food scavenged from the rubble.
Bodies lay in the street, often covered by a white cloth. Some people dragged the dust-covered dead along the roads, trying to reach a hospital where they might leave them.
Trucks carrying police and U.N. workers were often stuck in traffic on roads filled with pickup trucks, cars and pedestrians. MORE TO THE STORY...
AN OBAMA CRITIC SAYS HE ACTED TOO SOON... WHAT KIND OF JERK IS THIS?