natural disasters in a civilised nation

the more I read about the appalling situation in New Orleans, the more depressed I become. This article from The Guardian gives some background into the lack of funding, and what seems to be deliberate and reckless disregard for the views of experts in the field.

it’s all been said before, and probably better, but this is the richest nation in the world, FFS – they failed to protect their citizens before the hurricane, and they are failing them still. People who survived the hurricane and floods are now dying from dehydration and disease. Bodies are lying in the streets, in the water. People are being shot for trying to get drinking water.

it seems that the police are joining the looters. There is no command and control. From the other side, ambulances and rescue helicopters and hospital supply lorries are being shot at and prevented from doing their job. Rape and murder seem to be happening all over. The rescue services are too scared to deliver what is needed.

my heart goes out to those trapped in the city, but the descent into anarchy has been frighteningly swift.

I don’t remember reading any tales of similar behaviour in December when the tsunami hit South East Asia …

5 thoughts on “natural disasters in a civilised nation”

  1. The richest and – probably as a result – the most corrupt, in my opinion.

    Whilst obviously feeling sorry for those directly affected by the hrricane – my, how little those words truly convey – the cynic in me is whispering that the US Gov’t is reeping what it sows.

  2. I think one of the huge problems they’re facing which wasn’t necessarily the case in the worst-hit tsunami areas is that the infrastructure is trashed but the bulk of the population has survived. To make matters worse, that proportion of the population which didn’t self-evacuate using own resources is the poorest and most miserable proportion. A chilling illustration that the West is three meals or one supermarket delivery cycle from Mad Max country.

    In re looting, there are a number of sources stating that the cops are looting to the extent that they’re confiscating alcohol and firearms to prevent their spread into a huge, angry and hungry population and that they’re commandeering petrol and vehicles.

    Either way, it’s a comprehensive cockup. Interestingly, a number of foreign nations, us included, have offered help of various kinds and been refused by the US Government and now Fox News is whinging that no-one’s offering to help. You gotta love the US Right-Wing media.

    1. wingnuts? Just say no.

      your point about people and infrastructure is well, made, of course. Mad Max indeed – I wonder if they’ll ever get New Orleans back …

      1. God, I hope so. The alternative is to have a huge, disease-ridden warren populated by feral survivors of a ferocious Darwinian cull, squatting on the mouth of the Mississippi River and smack bank in the middle of the US oil coast. They can’t afford not to get it back.

        1. Get it back or just let it sink, though? Having something that extensive below sea level and then rebuilding it? Well, in America I suppose…

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