'What I'm seeing on TV now is a third-world country with a government unwilling or incompetent to fulfill its tasks'
Leave it to the Dutch, people with experience with below-sea-level disaster, to tell it like it is. From Laura Rozen’s War and Piece, a letter from broadcaster and human rights activist Frank Tiggelaar (my emphasis added)…
Watching events unfold in the New Orleans area I had flashbacks of the 1995 river Rhine and Meuse floods in Holland. Then, in just under two days authorities staged a forced evacuation of almost half a million people (total Dutch pop. is 16 million) and 2 million heads of cattle, pigs etc. It was the most orderly mass-operation I have ever seen.
I live near Holland’s main disaster hospital AMC, which can effectively triple its capacity from 1,200 to 4,000 patients in 3 hours by opening up its six-story undergound disaster unit, and witnessed how hundreds of ambulances, army trucks and dozens of medicopters (including German and Belgian air-borne operating theatres) brought in hospital patients, people from care homes and the disabled from the disaster areas. Roads were closed to all other traffic, in hospitals across the country an overwhelming – and fortunatly unnecessary – number of staff and volunteers were on stand-by.
The material damage was incredible, but there were no casualties, there were three meals every day for every temporarily displaced man, woman and child, all cows were fed and milked, there was no looting. National public TV within days set up a disaster charity show which raised over 60M guilders (EUR 30M) to pay for damages not covered by insurance.
What I’m seeing on TV now is a third-world country with a government unwilling or incompetent to fulfill its tasks. I feel very, very sorry for the residents of the area.
Thanks to Blender Steve G. for the pointer.