Tuesday, August 30, 2005

KATRINA, “The Day After”

Well, the aftermath of Katrina is gradually been unraveled, and she sure did a number on the US gulf coast! From turning New Orleans to a massive bowl of toxic gumbo soup; to upturning of the floating casinos of Biloxi and Gulport, Mississippi; to extensive destruction of homes, properties and businesses spanning four states. To say this is a catastrophe of biblical proportion is not an overstatement.

Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans :
“We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water,” and other people dead in attics.” When asked how many, he said: “Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands” . According to the NBC, “if the mayor’s death-toll estimate holds true, it would make Katrina the worst natural disaster in the United States since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, which have blamed for anywhere from about 500 to 6,000 deaths. Katrina would also be the nation’s deadliest hurricane since 1900, when a storm in Galveston, Texas, killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people.”

A logistical nightmare

The main task at this moment in the regions ravaged by Katrina is the logistics. The logistics of evacuating a whole city- New Orleans, preventing further degradation of the environment and public health, restoring infrastructure, and ex cetera. Everyone needs to step up, both private and corporate. There are many blogs out there with info on how and where to donate, churches have set up feeding camps, even some fire fighters in my neck of the woods here in St Paul, Minnesota, are on their way to ground zero. Private citizens seem to have been stepping up generally.

This is time for corporate responsibility.

However, despite all these warm gestures, I’m yet to set any tangible gestures from the corporate quarters. Where are they? What have they done so far? Here a some of things I’m expecting to see happen: ships in the gulf providing shelter to the displaced; barges of drinking water and food; collaborating with the government in setting up logistics centers; providing temporary antennae/masts so that phones can work…

Meanwhile, Concert for Hurricane Relief will air on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC at 8 p.m. EDT Friday, NBC Universal Television Group announced. All donations go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.” MTV has some plans too. There are indications that Viacom is going to make a $1 million donation to the Red Cross. A paltry sum, I’ll say.

A superpower at work

Well, this is America, and if only one nation can do it, America is that nation! The world will get to see the might of a world superpower at work right in her own backward. And it has started! The warships/vessels are gradually in place, the coast guards have rescued at least 1,200 people by winching them off roof tops, the broken levees have been somehow fixed. I hope they get to deploy some inflatables crafts to get folks across the murky waters.

To the people of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, even if this sounds really naïve- keep on holding on, help is surely on the way.