U.S. troops protected aid handouts, and the United Nations sought extra peacekeepers to bolster security in earthquake-shattered Haiti yesterday as marauding looters emptied wrecked shops and tens of thousands of survivors waited desperately for food and medical care.


Hundreds of scavengers and looters swarmed over wrecked stores in downtown Port-au-Prince, seizing goods and fighting among themselves, but some signs of normality returned as street vendors emerged with fruit and vegetables for sale.


“We do not have the capacity to fix this situation. Haiti needs help ... the Americans are welcome here. But where are they? We need them here on the street with us,” said policeman Derain Robeson, deployed to chase looters in the capital.


Some 2,200 Marines with heavy earth-moving equipment, medical aid and helicopters were arriving yesterday, said the U.S. Southern Command.