Death toll in Haiti could reach thousands: president - 660 CITYNEWS
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Death toll in Haiti could reach thousands: president

Haiti’s president says it’s too soon to grasp the magnitude of Tuesday’s earthquake that has absolutely devastated his country.

Rene Preval says that thousands of people may have been killed, though nobody can be sure yet.

Rescuers are searching desperately through the rubble of thousands of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince, some digging with their bare hands as they search for signs of survivors.

ABC’s Robin Roberts witnessed one succesful rescue effort.

“There was one woman trapped under the rubble, her rescuers trying desperately to get to her,” she said. “We could hear her voice as she was instructed her rescuers, telling them go right, go left.”

ABC’s Art Rascon says people with faces covered by white dust and the blood of open wounds are roaming the streets, crying for loved ones.

“Along the streets, as I have driven, just body after body after body,” he said. “Some of them not covered.”

The Red Cross says it has temporarily run out of supplies to treat the wounded.

Spokesman Eric Porterfield says the small amount of medical equipment and supplies available in Haiti has been distributed.

“The biggest help is just to donate, to make a financial contribution to help the Red Cross get the people what they need on the ground as soon as possible,” he said.

The Red Cross is sending more medical supplies to Haiti, but Porterfield says he does not know when they will arrive.

Doctors Without Borders has set up trauma centres in parking lots and on lawns, treating hundreds of patients. Spokesman Paul McPhun says many have broken bones and burns from cooking-gas containers that exploded.

“The best we can offer them at the moment is first aid care and stabilization,” he said. “The reality of what we’re seeing is severe traumas, head wounds, crushed limbs.”

It’s estimated there are hundreds of people not being attended, with some journalists reporting that hospitals are turning away some residents.

The airport has gotten power back on, and the first plane carrying aid landed Wednesday night. However, the streets are littered with debris which will likely make it difficult for aid workers to find and get aid to the people who need it.