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#193586 - 01/15/10 08:20 AM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: MostlyHarmless]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Not to cast blame but one has to wonder what international aid groups, religious organizations, NGO's, governments, and the like have been doing in Haiti all these years? The life expectancy is around 55 years and from 1950 to 2009 there has been a population explosion from over one million to over nine million today. Obviously whatever foreign intervention that has taken place so far has been misguided, unrealistic, damaging, or just plain isn't working.

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#193589 - 01/15/10 11:56 AM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: LED]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
All I can say is there are a LOT of busy DMAT and DMORT teams right now.

Let's say a prayer for the people of Haiti, and for the folks down there helping as well

As for water - sometime yesterday (from last I read) The Carl Vinson should have shown up - Now the issue is distributing water, as she can make close to 1/2 million gallons of clean water/day by herself (and the rest of the ships in the group can also make significant fresh water)

I was reading about the whole issue of "there is no way to unload the planes" - sigh, unfortunately what was the Military Air Lift Command is kinda busy these days flying supplies over to Central Asia. One good thing they know how to do is unload airplanes where there is little/no gear - for using airplanes where stuff can just be rolled/driven off, to knowing that on the first of those planes, you ship in the machines to help unload, in the place where they are the first off the plane
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#193594 - 01/15/10 01:33 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: KG2V]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: KG2V_was_kc2ixe
As for water - sometime yesterday (from last I read) The Carl Vinson should have shown up - Now the issue is distributing water, as she can make close to 1/2 million gallons of clean water/day by herself (and the rest of the ships in the group can also make significant fresh water)

Let's hope they can keep up. LED mentioned a population of over 9 million, so at 500,000 gallons per day, that's a quart a day for 2,000,000 people. What about the other 7,000,000? Like Arney said, things could turn ugly. Those humanitarian troops may be forced into security duty after all.


Edited by Mark_Frantom (01/16/10 05:36 PM)
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#193602 - 01/15/10 02:34 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: gryps]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: gryps
Well said. In March 2006, Popular Mechanics came out with a piece about Katrina myths titled "Debunking the Myths of Hurricane Katrina: Special Report" (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/2315076.html). It makes for some interesting reading, and offers a cautionary tale about the accuracy or 'current' media reporting. It may be wise to reserve judgment for now, until the quality of the information being provided has been ascertained.



That was a very interesting article, Gryps.

Thanks for the link.



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#193605 - 01/15/10 03:10 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: MostlyHarmless]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
I think that comment is highly inappropriate.


Before you come down too hard on Blast, Be aware there have been numerous allegations of child abuse/sexual exploitation at the hands of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Haiti:

BBC Report of Human Rights Abuses / Sexual Explitation by UN Peacekeeping Troops

Pete

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#193607 - 01/15/10 03:14 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: paramedicpete]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4932
Loc: SOCAL
Not just Haiti. . .

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#193608 - 01/15/10 03:17 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Arney]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Arney
I really think it's a race between showing the people that food, water, medical care, taking care of the dead is here or at least imminent, and the boiling over of frustrated and desperate Haitians.

I haven't watched any TV this morning yet, but I was just reading that a TIME magazine photographer has seen two roadblocks Haitians set up downtown using the corpses of their fellow Haitians to protest the slowness of the relief operations. Yikes, that's a bad sign!

That's a horrifying sight to imagine, but there's a gruesome logic to it, I guess. The shock value of using bodies sends a signal to the government and anyone watching in the rest of the world on TV. And the roadblock is probably a way to try and get any relief trucks to stop at their street instead of passing through. Well, and there's always the possibility of robbing passing vehicles or demanding some sort of "toll", I guess.

If these roadblocks are part of a wider trend, that's going to make transportation even harder. Not only do you have earthquake-related debris blocking roads, but soon the Haitians themselves will be purposely blocking roads for selfish, but understandable reasons, too.

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#193609 - 01/15/10 03:24 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Dagny]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
This is an interesting and mature discussion of the reality of responding to a large natural disaster, I hope we can keep it up. Haiti had a mostly inadequate infrastructure before the EQ, afterwards its ocean ports have been knocked down and the remaining airstrips are inadequate to provide airlift capacity to support the nearby population. Ocean ports are generally built on areas that may be subject to liquefaction, so restoring normal crane lift capacity to/from ships will take a while, probably too long to help. Meantime the military can provide other options for marine delivery including roll on roll off carriers. The major air field was undamaged but it lacks room for a large number of aircraft to be on the ground and unload concurrently - and inventory unloaded has nowhere to be stored, short of immediately leaving the air field. Lack of fuel may be a temporary issue, as controllers can require that visiting aircraft arrive with sufficient fuel to depart for a nearby field with adequate fuel. Finally roads into the most damaged sections of Port au Prince are clogged with debris and must be cleared to deliver food, water and medicine - or victims must be brought out of damaged areas into more accessible ones where food, shelter, and medical care can be delivered in a more controlled manner.

These are all logistics issues, and I am positive that within an hour of the EQ responders outside Haiti were focussed on them, and making plans. I was working at the local Seattle Red Cross, and we were quickly scanning maps to determine where the best mass casualty and mass shelter sites could be located - away from the epicenter. We are not involved in the Haiti response, but that's what goes on at many levels. Some of the first responders in to Haiti had to include scouting parties to do on ground damage assessment and assess routes to these pre-identified locations. The US Coast Guard also did aerial surveys of damage, they are posted on the USCG website - http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=744801. The Red Cross and other responder agencies do pretty much the same as they move into a disaster area.

I am a little more confident that aid can be delivered without massive riots, but the extreme poverty that Haiti experiences every day is a wild card in the equation.

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#193613 - 01/15/10 03:52 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Lono]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Lono
Haiti had a mostly inadequate infrastructure before the EQ, afterwards its ocean ports have been knocked down and the remaining airstrips are inadequate to provide airlift capacity to support the nearby population. Ocean ports are generally built on areas that may be subject to liquefaction, so restoring normal crane lift capacity to/from ships will take a while, probably too long to help.


In an effort to keep up the interesting and mature discussion, would temporary ports like those used by Allied forces at Normandy on D-Day be viable? I know those were built way ahead of time but surely there is something similar that could be used now. Maybe a ferry system from boats to beaches? The logistics of such a thing are beyond me but there has to be a workable solution. If there is, surely it is already in the works as we speak. For the sake of the unfortunate victims in Haiti, I hope so.
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#193615 - 01/15/10 04:06 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: MartinFocazio]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
What I've been seeing is people with nothing more than their hands pulling concrete off of people.

In the spirit in which Martin originally started this thread, let me contribute an article by a sociologist who has studied this topic that also echoes that sentiment.

Nightmare in New Orleans: Do disasters destroy social cooperation?

Here's the main gist of the article:
Quote:
More than a half-century of investigation has established a fairly firm pattern: After the cataclysm, social bonds will strengthen, volunteerism will explode, violence will be rare, looting will appear only under exceptional circumstances, and the vast majority of the rescues will be accomplished by the real first responders—the victims themselves.

Quote:
When looting does occur, most of it is done covertly by individuals or small groups snatching something when they think no one's looking, not by mobs acting openly.

Of course, there are exceptions, and we'll just have to wait and see how Haiti goes in the next days and weeks.

The sociologist does distinguish between the consequences of "pure" looting and looting associated with rioting. When anger boils over and a mob mentality takes over, I guess all the rules and instincts for social cooperation can go out the window even by otherwise upstanding folks. The angrier and more desperate the situation, the greater the risk of that breaking point being reached. If you can at least minimally meet the needs of the people, or at least give them hope, then a cooperative spirit tends to win out over the violent kind.

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