Man rescued from rubble 14 days after Haiti quake

U.S. troops pulled a man alive from under a collapsed building in Haiti's capital on Tuesday as U.N. troops sprayed tear gas at survivors desperate for food two weeks after a catastrophic earthquake.

The man, covered in dust and dressed only in underpants, was rescued by soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division from a ruined house on Rue de Miracle in downtown Port-au-Prince, a Reuters witness reported.

U.S. authorities identified him as 31 years old and said he had a broken leg and was severely dehydrated.

More than 130 people have been pulled out alive from under wrecked buildings by rescue teams from around the world, although hopes of finding more survivors are fading daily.

The latest rescue, exactly 14 days after the magnitude-7.0 earthquake killed as many as 200,000 people, came as the U.S.-led relief effort was focused on getting help to hundreds of thousands of survivors left homeless, hungry and injured.

Brazilian U.N. peacekeeping troops sprayed tear gas at a frantic crowd of thousands crowding a food handout outside the wrecked presidential palace earlier on Tuesday.

"They're not violent, just desperate. They just want to eat," Brazilian army Colonel Fernando Soares said. "The problem is, there is not enough food for everyone."

U.S. troops, U.N. peacekeepers and aid workers have widened the distribution of food and water, but many in the poor Caribbean country are still not receiving emergency aid.

Some of the food handouts in the capital have turned unruly, although the United Nations said the overall security situation in Port-au-Prince was stable and that about two-thirds of Haiti's police force had returned to work.

At the presidential palace on Tuesday, U.N. troops with shotguns protected relief workers handing out sacks of rice with U.S. flags on them. Armored trucks formed a cordon to control the crowd and people were searched as they entered the checkpoint near a makeshift camp.

"Yesterday they gave us rice, but there was not enough. There were too many people," said Wola Levolise, 47, who is living in the camp with her nine children.

The World Food Program said it handed out 60 tonnes of food but ended the distribution when the crowd got out of control.

"There are isolated, regrettable incidents but these are the exceptions and not the rule," a WFP spokesman said.

The U.N. agency said it had delivered nearly 10 million meals to almost 450,000 people since the quake.

Lewis Lucke, the retired U.S. ambassador coordinating the relief effort, said aid was moving as fast as possible given the chaotic conditions.

"This is really a disaster of biblical proportions," he told Reuters.

In a bid to get the economy going, the United Nations is offering 150 gourdes ($3.77) a day plus food rations to those willing to take jobs clearing rubble from roads and removing waste that posed a potential health threat.

More than 5,500 Haitians had already started the two-week jobs, loading debris on trucks and hauling it to landfills.

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive returned from an international donors meeting in Montreal, where he had made an impassioned plea for sustained long-term aid.

"I went to Canada to tell the donor community that the period of emergency will last months and months," Bellerive said. "It will take us four to five years before we can reach the situation we were on Jan. 11."

Bellerive also said there had been 45 aftershocks. Another one, magnitude 4.9, struck western Haiti later on Tuesday.

In Washington, the U.S. space agency, NASA, said it would send surveillance flights over Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, to look for signs that more earthquakes may hit the area.

The U.S. military said it could scale back its involvement within six months as other international organizations assume larger roles providing security and disaster relief. It does, plan to help build a 5,000-bed hospital to provide longer-term care to quake victims.

The United States has dispatched more than 15,000 military personnel to Haiti, with about 4,700 are deployed on the ground.

There were signs the ruined capital was slowly returning to life. A city garbage truck hauled away piles of rubbish at a makeshift camp and a long line snaked outside a bank. A street market along Rue Geffrard was crowded and chaotic.

The capital's destroyed downtown commercial area, however, had few open shops. Scavengers picked at smashed buildings for planks of lumber, steel bars and other building materials.

The Haitian government says about 1 million Haitians were displaced from their homes in the capital. It had tents for 400,000 to be used in temporary tent villages to be built outside the city, but said 200,000 more would be needed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions