PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Relief efforts struggled to get food, water and medicine to the hardest hit areas of the island on Friday, as security deteriorated amid a government vacuum and world leaders pledged more aid and personal visits to this devastated nation.
There were reports of some looting in the capital, even as the U.S. military assumed control of the airport and helicopters airlifted supplies from a carrier off the coast.
Evans Paul, former mayor of Port-au-Prince, summed up Haiti's two most urgent needs:
"We need rescue and security, " he said.
With the USS Carl Vinson stationed in the bay of Port-au-Prince, the commander of the U.S. military relief effort said personnel and supplies were moving into the country, though their distribution was hampered by impassible roads and a desperate population.
In some neighborhoods, angry and frustrated men created road blockades from corpses.
"If the citizens of Haiti will just remain in place and remain calm, help is on the way, " Gen. Douglas Fraser, the head of the U.S. Southern Command, said at a press briefing in Miami.
The Haitian government, he said, had begun broadcasting the locations of distribution centers for food, water and medicine.
"Go to those places, use those places, "' he said. "That's where you can get help."
A reprieve also arrived from President Barack Obama, who on Friday approved Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, which will allow them to stay and work in the U.S., and send money home to their loved ones.
Also Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would travel to Haiti on Saturday to review the U.S.'s ongoing relief efforts and survey damage from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation Tuesday.
Vice President Joe Biden also planned a trip to Miami with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to meet with Haitian-Americans.
As many sought to leave the island, rescue efforts for those who remained continued around the clock.
At one site in Port-au-Prince, at a house near the presidential palace, rescue workers extricated two older people -- a man and a woman -- and carried them away on stretchers, battered but alive. The crowd that had gathered burst into applause.
As relief workers focused their rescue efforts on the capital city, other parts of this country were still awaiting food, water and medicine.
In the coastal city of Jacmel in southwestern Haiti, scores of homes and buildings were reduced to rubble, and roads were impassible.
As encampments sprung up throughout the island, Haitians grew tired of waiting for international relief and took matters into their own hands -- providing security, and rationing what little they have.
Twenty young men patrolled the rocky soccer field and surrounding community, keeping vigil over the hundreds of homeless who had camped out night after frigid night in the Marie Therese neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.
Oh Lord My God, when I in awesome wonder, the tired and weary who camped in the field sang. Consider all the worlds, thy hands have made . . .
Not far away, their cry for help was captured in a few Creole words painted on a bedsheet hung between two trees: "Help. We need water. We need medicine -- food."
Many Haitians were critical of their government for not acting faster to bring help.
"Nobody is coming, " said Jasmine Pierre, who along with 10 members of her family have been camped out in a Port-au-Prince park since Tuesday.
Haiti's government institutions struggled to recover from their own devastation.
No single federal government office building remains standing, and officials were looking for a proper headquarters from which to organize relief operations, first lady Elizabeth Préval said.
"The Haitian government has a problem, " conceded President René Préval on Thursday.
"Before we can help the people, we have to figure out how to function under an extraordinarily difficult situation."
At a police station near Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, government officials set up a makeshift command center, said former Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis.
''All the government ministers - President Préval, parliamentarians, advisors - all are here and are looking at what will be the new strategy from the engagement of help and assistance of the international community, '' he said.
Gen. Fraser, the commander of U.S. military operations, could not give a timeline for relief to reach the hardest hit areas. ''We don't have a good idea of the full extent of the problems, '' he said.
More military forces were on the way as well to help the 4,200 U.S. personnel already in the country or offshore on the USS Carl Vinson.
An additional 6,300 military personnel are scheduled to arrive by Monday.
Miami Herald staff writers Charles, Daniel and Robles reported from Haiti. Jen Lebovich reported from Guantánamo Bay. Daniel Shoer Roth reported from the Dominican Republic.
Chang reported from Miami, as did staff writers Douglas Hanks, Curtis Morgan, Carol Rosenberg, Nancy San Martin and Jim Wyss. Lesley Clark contributed from Port-au-Prince.
DISASTER IN HAITI
Pétionville An af? uent suburb that is home to diplomats and wealthy Haitians. Many homes have been reduced to rubble, and a hospital has collapsed. The headquarters of the United Nations Mission, located on the road from the capital to Pétionville, was seriously damaged, with 36 staffers dead and 200 missing.
Hotel Villa Creole Partly standing after the earthquake. The hotel is now being used as a makeshift in?rmary. Doctors Without Borders is leading the effort to tend to injured people who have appeared at the hotel's gates.
General Hospital morgue The hospital is largely intact, but there is no working power generator. The building is over? owing with corpses, with hundreds of bodies lying in the parking lot. Trucks carried corpses away to a land? ll.
Sylvio Cator Stadium Still standing. Its athletic ? eld is being used as a campground for the displaced.
Port-au-Prince University Many buildings are damaged. An unknown number of students are trapped in the rubble or were killed during the earthquake. Haiti Damage Report Reports of damage in Port-au-Prince and beyond are widespread. Here's the latest. Note: Some locations are approximate.
National Palace Haiti's equivalent to the White House, built in 1918, is unusable, with a collapsed second story, trademark cupolas atilt and crumbled walls and columns.
Port-au-Prince Cathedral The 18th-century building with large stained-glass windows and twin towers collapsed, claiming the life of Port-auPrince Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot.
National Penitentiary Port-au-Prince's main prison collapsed, and inmates reportedly escapd.
Port-au-Prince Seaport The seaport is out of operation. Ship-loading cranes toppled into the water, and the main dock is partially submerged. U.N. of? cials said the damaged seaport could not support aid delivery by ship.
Carrefour This suburb, with nearly 500,000 people, was one of the hardest hit. Nearly 90 percent of the buildings in this district were destroyed, according to some reports. Carrefour is a very poor district, where about half of the adults under 65 are unemployed and the average income is just over $10 a week.
Tectonic plates Port-au-Prince is located where two tectonic plates come together. As the plates pushed alongside each other, the strike-slip cault built up strain for hundreds of years and released it all in the recent quake
Canapé Vert/Pacot/Bourdon Rows of the ? imsy homes that dot the hillside shantytown of Canapé Vert have been destroyed. Pacot and Canapé Vert are currently inaccessible, according to U.N. reports. Though the area includes the slums of Canapé Vert, it has among the highest weekly incomes, with more than a third of residents receiving remittances from the United States.
Delmas Some survivors gathered at a makeshift camp on Thursday, while others pulled mattresses into the streets. Looters took electronics and bags of rice from a damaged supermarket, according to news reports. The residents are among the city's youngest, with more than 1 in 6 people under age 11.
L'Ouverture Airport Runways are largely intact, but of? cials temporarily stopped ? ights after 60 aid planes had arrived by midday Thursday. Jet fuel for return ? ights is in short supply, and air traf? c has been made complicated by the loss of the airport's control tower. Aid workers have been slowed by the islands narrow, damaged roads.
Lavil/Belair This densely populated area is said to be a "broken mess." Entire blocks have been destroyed, and survivors have lined up on the streets with belongings salvaged from the rubble. The area has the highest jobless rate in the metropolitan area, with about two-thirds of adults unemployed.
Tent cities Survivors set up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food scavenged from the rubble. Parks and squares ? lled up with the newly displaced, the largest camp growing near the presidential palace. Many homeless people pitched makeshift tents on the hills above crowded shantytowns surrounding the city.
Cité Soleil The poor, violence-prone suburb sustained major damage. The U.N. World Food Program is still handing out food from its damaged warehouse there.