CNN is about where we all are when it comes to the earthquake in Haiti: Scouring social networks for eyewitness accounts. This live-streaming Canadian videoblogger just got called, on air, from a CNN producer looking for sources in Haiti.
The blogger goes on to play an interview he'd just conducted with a guy in Haiti. (It's in French.) We're guessing after CNN translates it they'll use it in their coverage.
Covering disasters like this depends heavily on eyewitness accounts, and right now they're just not coming through. So cable networks are talking over Google Earth images and a few Facebook pictures to experts who assure us the situation in Port Au Prince is terrible. Update: here is some (pretty graphic) video via Reuters:
We've got scattered reports like this one, from the LA Times:
A spokeswoman for Catholic Relief Services said the group's representative in Haiti, Karel Zelenka, described "total disaster and chaos" before the telephone line went dead. Zelenka told colleagues that the Haitian capital was covered in dust.
"He estimates there must be thousands of people dead," the spokeswoman, Sara Fajardo, said in an interview from the group's office in Maryland.
And Twitter user RAMHaiti is tweeting sporadically from Haiti:
The crowd is supposed to be most adept at covering chaotic breaking news like this. But given the conditions in Haiti, the poverty of the people and the fragility of the infrastructure, the true extent of the damage won't likely be known until news organizations get reporters on the ground—and off Facebook.
Update: The Times' Lede blog has a good round-up of earthquake reports on the Internet.
Update 2:The AFP reports the UN HQ in Port Au Prince has sustained serious damage and "A large number of personnel remain unaccounted for".
(pic via Getty images via Twitter)