Desperation and Danger

Red CrossI'm following the aftermath of hurricane Katrina fairly closely, and I can't get over the surreal nature of it all. Much of New Orleans is under water, looting is widespread with many looters armed with weapons, thousands and thousands of people are simply homeless with no food or water, rescue efforts are failing due to dangerous conditions and police and National Guard troops are struggling to restore order in a scene reminiscent of "Escape From New York".

These are merely the short term concerns. Long term, there is real concern that disease could kill thousands, with dead bodies decaying in the already polluted water. Then, there is an overwhelming number of poor that have been displaced and a city that has simply been ravaged. Of course, New Orleans isn't the only city affected as more and more dead are reported in Mississippi. The death toll, officially tallied at 185, will surely skyrocket once everything is sorted out. It's devastating.

I read these reports and I see the horror, and it plays out like the script for an epic disaster flick. Earlier today, there were even reports that Superdome evacuation efforts were halted because some people have become violent against the rescuers. They closed the entire city and declared martial law, and still there is mass looting and lawless behaviour. For once, the headline on CNN.com doesn't seem hyperbolic. "Desperation and Danger" it reads.

If it wasn't so damn real, it would make a tremendous summer popcorn movie. Sadly, it's all too real. Donate online if you can. Desperation and danger indeed.


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