International response to Haiti

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

Anchor Jeb Sharp speaks with Port-au-Prince-based journalist Ann Rose Schoen about the effects of yesterday's earthquake in Haiti, and ongoing relief efforts.

MS. JEB SHARP: Anne Rose Schoen is a journalist based in Port-au-Prince. She describes how people are coping with the disaster.

MS. ANNE ROSE SCHOEN: What they do right now, they put tables and chairs on the streets and they sit there and they wait. They don't want to go into the houses because they have damage and they are scared that they will crumble down which is true. When you have an aftershock then everybody shouts "Jesus" and "Please help me God". It is a very eerie situation.

MS. SHARP: Anne Rose, you've lived in Haiti for 30 years and you've seen the country face all kind of challenges and natural disasters. How are people reacting to this particular one?

MS. SCHOEN: Well they will react exactly the same way I think that anybody would react anywhere in the world. They are just totally numb and they're just sitting around. But what is also happening is more we are going towards the end of the day, the more aggressivity you will see. I noticed it already when I was going back home.

MS. SHARP: You mean aggression? You mean you're worried about people acting out and violence?

MS. SCHOEN: Well, I would say that the Haitians are very funny people. I have to say in one way, I mean they have so much capacity, just tolerate everything. But you have to understand that they are so tolerant to everything that just one day, they are just going to blow up and I hope that help is coming very soon.

MS. SHARP: You talk about it as if it's a scary prospect, but what actually do you see now in the streets and what do you anticipate?

MS. SCHOEN: I'm just seeing a lot of people in the street walking around. They are not yet hungry, they are not yet thirsty. So this is the problem that you are going to have. There is no water, there is no electricity. I mean, it's just basically a total collapse of every infrastructure. Any human being will revolt in the next couple of hours. So I would say tomorrow morning if there is not a couple of things being brought into Port-au-Prince, distributed in a very fashion, you are going to have problems.

MS. SHARP: Anne Rose, what do you think is most needed right now in Port-au-Prince?

MS. SCHOEN: I think the first what we need, would be some kind of an organization and some kind of very disciplined structure that comes in. I mean, I will tell you something, I mean like Marshal Law that comes in and says you know this has to be done, this has to be done and this and this and this. We basically need a good military to take charge. That's what I would say. And that would be any other country would do exactly the same thing. Imagine you have a crowd in front of you of five to six thousand people, everybody wants to have water and you come with a truck of water. What do you think is going to happen with the truck of water? Unless you protect this truck.

MS. SHARP: This is home for you. You plan to stay and work and see this through?

MS. SCHOEN: Well this is my home. I do have children. They are Haitian and German, so of course I'm going staying here and I will stay through. I mean this is, where should I go else? I mean, this is my home.

MS. SHARP: Anne Rose Schoen, thank you so much for speaking with us.

MS. SCHOEN: No problem. Anytime.