Haitians overran trucks filled with supplies, stealing food and other necessities Friday as the country’s leaders scrambled to provide relief a week after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the impoverished country.
The earthquake left more than 2,200 dead and 12,000 injured in the country’s southwest.
Many of the Haitians who swarmed the relief trucks in the port city of Les Cayes said they had been left homeless by the earthquake which struck last Saturday, according to an Associated Press report.
“I have been here since yesterday, not able to do anything,” said Sophonie Numa, who waited outside an international aid center in nearby Camp-Perrin, according to the wire service. “I have other people waiting for me to come back with something.”
An AP photographer saw people stealing foam sleeping pads from a truck parked at a Red Cross compound, while others stole food, said Jean-Michel Saba, an official with Haiti’s civil protection agency. Another photographer witnessed a group of men pulling large sacks from a half-opened container truck in the small town of Vye Terre.
Some of the trucks that were looted belonged to the US-based Food for the Poor. The trucks had been transporting cases of water, rice and beans.
The quake damaged roads and bridges, slowing the distribution of emergency food and medical supplies, according to government officials.
As of Wednesday, more than 300 people were still missing, head of the civil defense for the Southern Province, which includes the city of Les Cayes.