PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Gasoline is in short supply following the earthquake in Haiti unless you know where to go, several station owners indicate.
Gasoline stations are open only a few hours a day, but are swamped by people trying to get as much fuel as possible, the Los Angeles Times reported. Since the 7-magnitude earthquake last Tuesday, gasoline has become critical for doctors traveling to makeshift hospitals and ambulances bringing the injured to the bare-bones clinics already in operation.
As with most things in the poverty-stricken Caribbean island nation, those with money and position have a certain advantage, some station owners told the newspaper.
At a Texaco station in Port-au-Prince's Canape Vert neighborhood, Dr. Fresnel Larosilieve arrived early after his friend, station owner Jean Rigaud, called the physician recently about a shipment, the Times said. Within 30 minutes, cars were queued up along the street and armed police arrived for crowd control.
"You've gotta know people to find what you need," said Frantz Philogene, who told the Times he was at another gas station when he got word that the Texaco station was opening.
At another nearby gasoline station, police watched as crowds pressed for their gallons of petrol. When asked how people got to the front of the line, one man flashed some cash, telling the Times, "If you do things honestly in Haiti without giving someone some money, you'll never get service."