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Video: Tent city fills with injured, hungry

  1. Closed captioning of: Tent city fills with injured, hungry

    >> nbc.

    >>> we have talked earlier in the broadcast about those who have not yet received the help that continues to pour into this airport. but we saw an example of those who did. it was at a camp for displaced victims. michelle kosinski was there as it happened. michelle?

    >> reporter: lester, we saw some of that. what we saw today was a makeshift camp in a park that had swelled to thousands of people. but then we saw how quickly coping peacefully can turn to chaos. hundreds of people line a hastily arranged barrier of chairs. at a u.s. army installation at a port-au-prince country club . they know there are no supplies yet, but they wait for more than 12 hours.

    >> now i'm getting thirsty.

    >> reporter: jean baptist has no home either and led us just down the hill to the newest neighborhood in this devastated capital, a sprawling camp where thousands live beneath sheets, trying to survive.

    >> just to see their faces, the they're anxious, they're tired, they're hungry.

    >> reporter: many are injured. a woman whose home collapsed, a little boy . they cook what they could carry here. they eat with water that is undrinkable. happiness is any shred of normalcy or peace. this tent has set up a sort of store.

    >> they're trading, they're trading, and some medical stuff like aspirin.

    >> reporter: but many have little-to-no food. these women say they will walk three hours to where they think they can find water. for the most part, things are orderly and calm and generous until there's a drop of supplies. then suddenly a chopper appears to toss down maybe two dozen boxes of meals and the race from every corner of this camp begins.

    >> it is the baddest way to do it. they cannot stay from high and drop food for people.

    >> reporter: within minutes, most are winded and empty-handed. this man insists he will share as others scream he had better. but some with the precious boxes are less willing and humanitarian gesture becomes a fight. it's for everyone, says a man who has none. but for a few moments, survival was all that mattered. we couldn't immediately determine what organization had done that food drop but the army here tells us that is exactly what they don't want to see happen. and in fact the 82nd airborne , which is right behind us, those are the ones that are set up right boov that camp, said they're working on plans to distribute aid fairly, which is vital.

    >> michelle kosinski . thank you. we have not moved but other location is changing as the military continues to put down roots here, adding more and more permanent structure, as this operation continues to ramp up. again, thank you for your reporting.


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