(AP) PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Scores of U.S. troops landed on the lawn of Haiti's shattered presidential palace Tuesday to the cheers by quake victims eager for reinforcements in the sluggish global effort to bring food, water and shelter to the devastated country.
Thousands more U.S. troops are on the way and the U.N. Security Council was expected to approve a boost in its peacekeeping and police forces to help control outbursts of looting and violence that have slowed relief efforts.
Haitians jammed the fence of the palace grounds to gawk and cheer as the troops emerged.
"We are happy that they are coming, because we have so many problems," said Fede Felissaint, a hairdresser.
Given the circumstances, he did not even mind the troops taking up positions at the presidential palace. "If they want, they can stay longer than in 1915," he said, a reference to the start of a 19-year U.S. military presence in Haiti -- something U.S. officials have repeatedly insisted they have no intention of repeating.
A week after the magnitude-7.0 quake struck, killing an estimated 200,000 people, the port remains blocked and while the flow of food, water and supplies from the city's lone airport to the needy is increasing, it remains a work in progress. Tens of thousands of people sleep in the streets or under plastic sheets in makeshift camps. Relief workers say they fear visiting some parts of the city.
Just four blocks from U.S. troop landing at the palace, hundreds of looters were rampaging through downtown.
"That is how it is. There is nothing we can do," said Haitian police officer Arina Bence, who was trying to keep civilians out of the looting zone for their own safety.