New Orleans Watch

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SolInvictus
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#1
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For those that don't know what is happening, the US city of New Orleans has been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. 80% of the city is below water, and there is no clean water or electricity. Sewage, dead bodies and toxic waste have entered the flood waters, and some 80,000 people are likely to die of dystentery alone. There is no way to get in or out because of the severe flooding. People are dying or are trapped and can't leave. The government is failing to do anything to help these people. My father got a desperate call from a friend's cell phone. His family has been trapped on the roof of their house for 3 days with no food, water or shelter from the elements. He asked my father to try to have a helicopter sent to save his family, but my father can't do anythinh. Things are desperate. If you want to know more, look it up on the internet.

My question is simple, how did this happen in the US? How did the world's most powerful and wealthiest nation do nothing to prevent this disaster? Why isn't anything happening to save lives?
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Bismarck
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(Original post by SolInvincitus)
For those that don't know what is happening, the US city of New Orleans has been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. 80% of the city is below water, and there is no clean water or electricity. Sewage, dead bodies and toxic waste have entered the flood waters, and some 80,000 people are likely to die of dystentery alone. There is no way to get in or out because of the severe flooding. People are dying or are trapped and can't leave. The government is failing to do anything to help these people. My father got a desperate call from a friend's cell phone. His family has been trapped on the roof of their house for 3 days with no food, water or shelter from the elements. He asked my father to try to have a helicopter sent to save his family, but my father can't do anythinh. Things are desperate. If you want to know more, look it up on the internet.

My question is simple, how did this happen in the US? How did the world's most powerful and wealthiest nation do nothing to prevent this disaster? Why isn't anything happening to save lives?
There is only one way into and out of the city right now. How do you suppose the emergency personnel can enter the city to help? This catastrophe was unpreventable, as New Orleans is 6 feet below sea level, and when nature goes against man, nature usually wins. If the city wasn't prompty evacuated, the death toll would be in the hundreds of thousands. There are obviously not enough helicopters to rescue everybody at once, but if you watch TV, you'll see that a lot of people are getting rescued (some 50,000 already rescued by some accounts).

Your estimate of deaths from dysentery seems highly exaggerated by the way. I doubt there are even 80,000 people left in the city.

Might I ask why your father's friend didn't flee the city by the way? I'm not blaming him or anything, but staying in the city was not a brilliant idea.
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SolInvictus
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A member of the CDC (center for disease control) gave the number at 80, 000. There are still tons of people left behind. Because there is no water, rehydration for victims of dysntery is not possible, therefore leading to deaths. The governer said that she wants the city evacuated, but how are people supposed to leave when they are trapped by rising flood waters?
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Invisible&Proud
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Has the plight of New Orleans made anyone else think seriously about just how thin the line is between social order and chaos? Quite worrying really
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Howard
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(Original post by SolInvincitus)

My question is simple, how did this happen in the US? How did the world's most powerful and wealthiest nation do nothing to prevent this disaster? Why isn't anything happening to save lives?
How can the US prevent hurricanes exactly?
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SolInvictus
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The point is that this is happening in the world's richest and most powerful nation. Is this a sign of serious collapses that people have been ignoring, like the chaos in the south of New Mexico?
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GerardT
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(Original post by SolInvincitus)
My question is simple, how did this happen in the US? How did the world's most powerful and wealthiest nation do nothing to prevent this disaster? Why isn't anything happening to save lives?
Well, I guess it happens in the US because of the warm equatorial waters and currents and the usually high-temperatures of the Gulf Of Mexico - a meteorlogist at the NHC called it the perfect conditions for a monster hurricane. As for doing things to prevent the disaster, well... aside from ordering out a metropolitan area population of almost 1.6million people, saturating news and radio and placing thousands of Red Cross workers, National Guard troops and reservists on standby for afterwards, what else in your opinion could have been done? About saving lives, well with the aforementioned people doing their best, what else do you think they could be doing in a city 80% flooded with no electricity, water, pumping stations, communications or significant food stocks?
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Bismarck
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(Original post by SolInvincitus)
A member of the CDC (center for disease control) gave the number at 80, 000. There are still tons of people left behind. Because there is no water, rehydration for victims of dysntery is not possible, therefore leading to deaths. The governer said that she wants the city evacuated, but how are people supposed to leave when they are trapped by rising flood waters?
Are you suggesting that 100% of the people will get that disease and that the fatality rate for that disease is 100%?

(Original post by SolInvincitus)
The point is that this is happening in the world's richest and most powerful nation. Is this a sign of serious collapses that people have been ignoring, like the chaos in the south of New Mexico?
The chaos in the south of Mexico is man-made and is not going to go away for the foreseeable future. The same can't be said about the New Oreleans situation.
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SolInvictus
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(Original post by Howard)
How can the US prevent hurricanes exactly?
I am talking about the aftermath. The main shelter is collapsing, and there is no refuge within 100 miles because all of that region has been destroyed by the storm.

Thousands of poorer people had nowhere to go, and had to stay in the City Shelters. The main Superdome shelter has no sanitation, electricity or supplies. There should have been boats coming in to bring supplies before the storm, and the poor should have been given bus rides to get out. In addition, hundreds of elderly citizens have been trapped in their houses and are possibly dead. Someone should have brought those people out.
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Agent Smith
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(Original post by Invisible&Proud)
Has the plight of New Orleans made anyone else think seriously about just how thin the line is between social order and chaos? Quite worrying really
It's depressing, although not surprising, to see all the looting going on. What good martial law is going to do I do not know.

Some people have been outraged at how the US officials viewed things such as electricity as basics, while some of the communities wiped out in the Boxing Day Tsunami had never had them. At first I agreed, but then it occurred to me that those communities could carry on fine without missing something they had never possessed. The US, on the other hand, is so dependent on electricity (and boy, is that going to be funny when the oil runs out) that it probably IS a basic.

One thing that did outrage me was the way it has been called (by the media or the officials, or just the average guy in the flooded street - I don't know) "Our Tsunami". That's about as logical as calling 11/9 "Our Holocaust", or Iraq "Our World War Two". "The New Vietnam", while getting closer, is still not terribly proportionate.

It is a tragedy. No-one but Al-Qa'ida-oids would dispute that. However, it is wrong to put it on the same level as far, far, worse ones, nor to lose sight of the fact that things just as bad - and worse - happen in other countries and for some reason almost nothing is made of it. When Typhoon Talim slams into Taiwan sometime in the next two days I bet no-one will make anything like so much fuss. It's going to flatten half the island, but why should anyone care about that?
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SolInvictus
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(Original post by Bismarck)
Are you suggesting that 100% of the people will get that disease and that the fatality rate for that disease is 100%?



The chaos in the south of Mexico is man-made and is not going to go away for the foreseeable future. The same can't be said about the New Oreleans situation.
You forget that there are more people in the surrounding areas that have been hit harder than New Orleans.
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Bismarck
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(Original post by SolInvincitus)
You forget that there are more people in the surrounding areas that have been hit harder than New Orleans.
You forget that we have 21st century medical technology, not 18th century.
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Howard
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(Original post by SolInvincitus)
I am talking about the aftermath. The main shelter is collapsing, and there is no refuge within 100 miles because all of that region has been destroyed by the storm.

Thousands of poorer people had nowhere to go, and had to stay in the City Shelters. The main Superdome shelter has no sanitation, electricity or supplies. There should have been boats coming in to bring supplies before the storm, and the poor should have been given bus rides to get out. In addition, hundreds of elderly citizens have been trapped in their houses and are possibly dead. Someone should have brought those people out.
Well, I think you're talking about preparations before the hurricane hit rather than responsivness to the aftermath. It's not easy to see what can be done with 80% of the city under 8' of water. However, I do agree that the preparations (evacuations etc) left something to be desired.
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littlemissalex
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Theres not really much that the US government could do in order to prevent such a natural disaster. It was predicted to happen and people were warned of the consequences, and just because America is so powerful, does not mean that such natural things shouldnt happen to it! Its stupid and very ignorant to say that just because america is so powerful, it shouldnt be subjected to such natural disasters. Why should any country have to endure floods and droughts? Nobody complains about the countries suffering from the monsoon?!
The people in the area of New Orleans knew that something like this would hit, weve been hearing about this from before and yet they chose to stay there. Shoudnt they have moved out before the hurricane struck?
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psychic_satori
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(Original post by Howard)
Well, I think you're talking about preparations before the hurricane hit rather than responsivness to the aftermath. It's not easy to see what can be done with 80% of the city under 8' of water. However, I do agree that the preparations (evacuations etc) left something to be desired.
While I agree that they could have been better prepared, they probably worried that if they rushed emergency supplies into such a questionable area could be a total waste, if the warehouses that they were going to store them in were destroyed. I remember being in Florida for hurricane Andrew and they actually hauled emergency supplies OUT of the area that it appeared the hurricanes would hit, so that they would remain available for after the storm.
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SuperhansFavouriteAlsatian
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At first the more the media hypes how bad a storm is, the more people will go into panic mode and clean out Home Depots and local grocery stores. Then if it isn't bad, and the populace starts feeling as though they wasted their time and energy on nothing. Have this happen 4 or 5 times...and pretty soon nobody listens anymore.

Next thing you know there's a Cat 4 sitting a day away and still nobody is concerned...why should they be the last 4 times the media hyped something it was nothing. Then they get schwacked, lose everything, maybe even get killed due to complacency.

Complacency kills.

But to be fair, everyone was told to evacuate. While it's very bad that this has happened, i find it difficult to sympathise too much with people who die from a hurricaine, as they know it's coming about 5 days before it hits, and when you live in a city which is not only entirely below sea level, but also next to the damn sea, i would take warning like your mayor telling you to evacuate quite seriously.

Having said that, i'm sure the US government and rescue services are doing everything they can, but it's going to be a very long and hard slog. The people of New Orleans have to get used to the idea that building a city on a swamp below sea level next to an ocean is a bad idea, and to rebuild that area would only waste money and lives when the exact same thing happens in another 40 years.
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spikdboy
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My entire family is from Slidell, just across Lake Ponchitrain from New Orleans - does anyone know any real-time Google Earth equivilent that I can use to see the damage to their houses?
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Douglas
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(Original post by Howard)
Well, I think you're talking about preparations before the hurricane hit rather than responsivness to the aftermath. It's not easy to see what can be done with 80% of the city under 8' of water. However, I do agree that the preparations (evacuations etc) left something to be desired.
Howie, the mayor of N.O. ordered an evacuation prior to Katrini hitting, though most people probably ignored it, and it was not a supervised orderly evacuation.
Douglas
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(Original post by Invisible&Proud)
Has the plight of New Orleans made anyone else think seriously about just how thin the line is between social order and chaos? Quite worrying really
Yes, it *is* worrying. There's talk now about gun shops been broken into.....God knows what may happen. Have you seen the movie "escape from New York?
Douglas
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(Original post by SolInvincitus)
A member of the CDC (center for disease control) gave the number at 80, 000. There are still tons of people left behind. Because there is no water, rehydration for victims of dysntery is not possible, therefore leading to deaths. The governer said that she wants the city evacuated, but how are people supposed to leave when they are trapped by rising flood waters?
The flood waters are a problem for many people, they're trapped.

My guess is, that noone will die of dysentry, as we speak, hundreds of thousands bottles of water are being flown in, I'm sure helicopters will distribute it to the trapped people.
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