September 4th, 2005

mushishi - mushi

Heartbreak and mindboggle

Reading the news the last week has been breaking my heart. I don't have any personal friends in the area hit by Katrina, but it's like with every disaster we get detailed reports from - how can it not affect you? I was first made aware of the possible scale of the disaster when a close friend of mine mailed everyone in her address book about who of her family and friends, living in the New Orleans area, had evacuated, who was staying (and why), and who hadn't yet been in touch. That was last Sunday, before Katrina made landfall. I haven't heard anything from her since.

Anyway, her mail had a link to a report on what could happen if a Force 4 or 5 hurricane hit the city. So when I check CNN today and read that the cheif something-or-another of Homeland Security say the situation now was breathtaking in its surprise. WTF?! Which surprise? I'm really, really glad I don't live in the US right now, because - what the hell? Are these guys seriously expecting natural disasters and terrorists alike will send them two weeks' notice, or what? It boggles the mind, it really does. And it makes me see the tsunami disaster, when everyone was furious with our own government's sluggish reactions, in a new light... At least that one was kind of, well - surprising. And also on the other side of the world.

Another thing that boggles the mind is that we - a lot of the rest of the world - would really like to help, but we're not being allowed to. Sweden had a rescue crew standing by soon after the scope of the disaster was obvious. First it was a standard disaster relief team, and recently the news were talking of a military transport plane full of water purification gear, and experts to set it up and run it. But to go help someone needed to take up the offer, and nobody has. Yesterday it sounded as if the they were going, but today the news reported that the relief effort had been canceled. Why? Because they were told the US authorities have no way of accepting this kind of aid, logistically speaking. Or something like that. I really, really don't understand how difficult it can be to let a trained team of experts land and then go do their thing, but... yeah. There's a lot about this situation that I don't understand.

My heart goes out to everyone who was hit, directly and indirectly. I can only hope that this will serve as a wake-up call to those in charge, so that the next time Mother Nature shows us she's not to be taken lightly, people won't have to suffer and die needlessly.
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