Thousands of Haitians Helpless After Quake

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The earthquake in Haiti may turn out to be one of the worst disasters in history.

Thousands may be dead. And Haitians are working furiously to save those who were injured in the devastating quake.

Bill Horan, president and chief operating officer of Operation Blessing International, spoke with Pat Robertson on Thursday's The 700 Club about the charity aid organization's work in Haiti.  Click play to watch the CBN News report and Horan's interview.

CBN News International Correspondent George Thomas is headed to Haiti.  Click here for his comments on the situation there, from neighboring Dominican Republic.

Even after the earthquake killed so many people, now the fear is that hundreds of thousands more might die for lack of help in a country so poor it had a rough time keeping its citizens alive in the best of times.

The dead lie in the streets. There's no one to pick them up and nowhere to take them. The injured are everywhere.

"The reality of what we are seeing is severe trauma, head wounds, crushed limbs," said Paul McPhun, operations manager for Doctors Without Borders

"We have spent all day and night in the streets trying to give assistance," said Matt Marek of the American Red Cross. "Entire mountainsides of communities have come down and collapsed."

The toll-free number to call for information about family members in Haiti is 1-888-407-4747. The State Department says some callers may receive a recording because of heavy volume of calls.

It is little surprise the killer quake brought down so much of Port-au-Prince.

Nick Mathias, a member of the Journey Church in Madison, Wis., who runs an orphanage in the country said most Haitians have to live in flimsy structures.

"The foundations were made with what they have for materials that are cheap," Mathias said. "That's how they live, that's how they get by."

Screams still come from collapsed buildings where many of the living are still trapped.

A woman told the BBC the gutters were filled with blood pouring out of the crushed structures all over Port-au-Prince. Haitians have mounted desperate rescue attempts with their bare hands.

People clog any open spaces outdoors, too frightened by the dozens of aftershocks to go inside.

Badly injured victims are dying even now outside hospitals because they are too afraid to be inside them.

The United Nations would be the logical agency to organize the massive rescue and aid efforts needed to save the hundreds of thousands of Haitians still threatened.

But the U.N.'s Port-au-Prince headquarters lies in ruins and more than a hundred U.N. workers are missing and are now feared dead.

The presidential palace, once the pride and joy of many Haitians for its beauty, lies in a crumbled heap. It is a symbol of how the government itself is in no shape to coordinate the rescuing and saving of its own people.

Many Haitians have fled to the countryside where there's little damage, but also no aid.

Those trying to flee Haiti into the neighboring Dominican Republic are being held back by rifle-toting guards and high fences.

For Haitians living in the U.S., their agony is the lack of communication. They often cannot find out if their loved ones back home are alive, and if they are alive, if they are safe and uninjured.

"The not knowing does it," said Tracy Menelas, whose sister and niece were killed in the quake. "The not knowing. You know? You want to believe, but then again you don't want to believe that it really happened."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.