Haiti earthquake: A chat with Red Cross at the Haiti-Dominican border

A Monitor reporter at the Haiti-Dominican border hears from the Red Cross about priorities and a situation that "exceeded our imagination."

Media outlets around the globe have been eager to get into Port-au-Prince and bring the story of the destructive Haiti earthquake to the world – and the Monitor has been no different.

Reporter Sara Miller Llana and photographer Mary Knox Merrill made it to the Haiti-Dominican border around noon, and had a chance to chat briefly with Julio Urbaes, a senior official for the Red Cross relief effort in Haiti, before pressing on for Port-au-Prince.

Mr. Urbaes spent most of Wednesday in Port-au-Prince, and he and his team were returning to the capital after transporting 105 injured Haitians to hospitals in the Dominican Republic, which shares Hispaniola Island with Haiti.

Aid workers in Port-au-Prince says fuel is in short supply, and Urbaes and his team were loading up on gas before returning to the stricken capital. He said that his seasoned crew of aid workers were shocked at what they saw there on Wednesday.

"We imagined it would be bad. We knew it was a disaster, but it exceeded our imagination," he told Llana.

Urbaes says the Red Cross in the Dominican Republic has already transported two mobile hospital units to Port-au-Prince and that more aid was on the way. He says the Red Cross is giving priority to injured children, and is distributing everything from basic medical supplies to disposable diapers.

Follow the Global News Blog for updates on Haiti throughout the day. 

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