Dragon -V- (dragonvpm) wrote,
Dragon -V-
dragonvpm

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Interesting Contrast....

I was a bit shocked to come across this article on Boing Boing earlier.

As if they needed it, now there's one more reason why the U.S. government is going to hate Castro. Apparently, Cuba knows how to deal with hurricanes
Hurricanes Isidore and Lili battered the whole country, especially the tobacco-growing province of Pinar del Río and the nearby Isla de la Juventud, causing widespread devastation.

Cristina Estrada, a regional spokeswoman for the Red Cross, told BBC News Online that only the country's prompt and well-organised evacuation procedures ensured no-one was killed.

They got slammed by two hurricanes in as many weeks and yet they're somehow managing to keep things from devolving into lawlessness and chaos. It's interesting to see what a government does when it doesn't presume that it can just throw money at a problem. Cuba's been on the receiving end of a major trade embargo for decades and yet they were still able to put together a system that works.

I've been completely floored by what's going on in NOLA this week and reading this just leaves me dumbstruck. As a civil engineer I'm fascinated to see how a city functions (or in this case doesn't), but given the resources we have available, I'm still amazed that we can't seem to figure out what to do. Until I read about how Cuba handles similar disasters I kept going around the whole situation but ultimately always thinking, "Oh man, this is horribl, but what can you do? It's an 'act of god' and they call it that for a reason...", but now....

It is possible to be more prepared and to help people in need and it doesn't take wads of cash or high tech gadgets.

Apparently, all it takes is a little respect for mother nature, and an awareness that we aren't invincible.

Funny how those traits are sorely lacking in our leaders... and let's face it, they're lacking in us (as a country) as well. Suddenly it's not so shocking that the land of the Hummer and the home of the "War on Terror" wouldn't know what to do when faced with a disaster of these proportions.

I feel terrible for the people who got caught up in this and I'm increasingly angry that the people who are supposed to make sure things like this don't happen were caught with their pants down.

Damn it. It didn't have to be this bad.
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  • 11 comments

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