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#193655 - 01/16/10 03:18 AM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Art_in_FL]
Nicodemus Offline
Paranoid?
Veteran

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
If a Time Photographer saw a roadblock made of the dead, he'll have pictures and we should be able to find them. Either he'll have pictures, his film and gear were taken, he was lying, or he can easily be labeled the worst photographer ever.

Edit 1: I looked up the story, and Shaul Schwarz is the Time Magazine photographer who reported seeing the roadblock of bodies. The report was done by phone with a BBC correspondent, so pictures may show up in the next few days unless Time holds it back for an issue of the magazine.

Edit 2: Shaul Schwarz works for Getty and has been subcontracted by Time to cover the Aftermath of the Earthquake. He and Timothy Fadek have a gallery of aftermath photos at Time.com. I must warn you, the photos are graphic. One of the photos and captions leads me to believe the story of an actual roadblock may be taken out of context. I guess we'll see.


Edited by Nicodemus (01/16/10 03:35 AM)
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#193665 - 01/16/10 03:17 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Nicodemus]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Anger is an expected response after some traumas / disasters - ask any EMT/Paramedic. Throw in tropical heat, lack of food, water, assistance, living outdoors, masses of injured children and others, the death of family and friends, the stench of death everywhere, the sense that you and everyone around you are nearing death yourselves, really exceptional circumstances - why not be angry and irrational even at the first ambulance crews arriving to help out. Responders should anticipate anger, and not dismiss it, but look to their safety too. Anger is seldom a permanent response to trauma, not if the aid is consistent and begins to overcome the disaster effects.

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#193670 - 01/16/10 04:11 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: James_Van_Artsdalen]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
Originally Posted By: James_Van_ArtsdalenRight
- there are few assets available that can go anywhere in the world in unstable situations and be self-sufficient long enough for re-supply. There's no shortage of volunteers to go, but few who can be on the ground and fully operational inside 48 hours at little risk until re-supply.

The Navy has two big hospital ships that would be great here but I don't know ho many weeks lead time they need.

The cause of the FAA directive is probably not so much fuel as it is getting supplies off the airfield in Haiti. The Haitian government is not very well organized at the best of times and getting supplies distributed is probably the bottleneck, not getting them to Haiti.

Given the history and state of things the capabilities of an Amphibious Assault Group would be handy for putting large amounts of supplies ashore at many sites. I don't know where those assets are kept or how long it would take to deploy them this way, but it's probably the group most able to move thousands of tons of supplies to many minimally-prepared sites.

Funny you should mention this (even if a few days ago). The USNS Comfort just left Norfolk, I think yesterday. So they need about 3-4 days to gear up. I know several docs from my hospital that went underway with them. I believe that the Mercy is a west-coast ship, so it won't be going anywhere.

My attending, resident and I were talking 2 days ago about them shipping out. He's done quite a bit of disaster relief/management with the Navy. We were debating the pros/cons of the hospital ships, and he pretty much voiced the opinion that one of the LHD's would be an ideal platform - I tend to agree. For those civilians, an LHD is kind of a small air-craft carrier with helicopters and vertical take off planes, but also hovercrafts (LCAC's).

In this situation, the helo's could start ferrying personnel and equipment as the ship entered range (for example, supplies for the first 24 hours), with the LCAC's carrying the majority of supplies as they reached their max. ranges. The helo's on return trips could start ferrying patients, and the hangar deck could be used for a massive triage deck. Convert some of the wardrooms and galleys into medical centers, and you could conceviable operate several clinics in the same ship. I think it's an idea worth looking at, personally. Though I'm sure it'd cost a TON of money to re-configure ships. Plus, they'd likely be done to retiring ships, which likely are being retired for a reason!

Anyway, back to Haiti - I think that no matter what is done, it's going to be a cluster. There's going to need to be a viable infrastructure in place, or else we'll just keep seeing the same stories of death, non-clean up, and non-delivery of supplies. With aid pouring in from all over the world, someone needs to point them where to go. Otherwise, they'll stop at the first place they see a need and no one, and those on the outskirts from airports/ports will still be in this situation months from now.


Edited by MDinana (01/16/10 04:12 PM)

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#193673 - 01/16/10 04:50 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: MDinana]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
My two cents.

I was involved in a relief operation with the 82d a while back. We deployed and were mainly patrolling areas to stop looting and to protect the relief supplies. We also had attached engineers to clear rubble, and a lot of guys who did unloading of relief supplies.

What got me was this - When the natives figured that the weapons had no ammo, they got their weapons and stole some of ours... we were quickly issued ammo.

Second thing - I heard more "Where have you been, what took you so long to get here?" than I heard "Thank you for coming to help". About the 100th time I heard this, I answered "I was at home, in my house, drinking a beer, sitting in my air conditioning, looking at the storm track on TV and was so freaking happy I was not stupid enough to live here." Sorta shut that clown right up.

Oh, did I mention this was Hurricane Andrew, and I was in Florida? And the infrastructure there is one hell of a lot better than the almost non-existant infrastructure in Haiti. You can only do the best you can with what you have. People scream and cry about how long things take. One reason I reckon most of the people on this board could easily wait out 72/96 hours without outside help.

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#193674 - 01/16/10 05:15 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: JBMat]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1361
I take teams of people into third world locations to help at really remote areas and disaster zones. We were not involved with Haiti this time, but it's just because we're still a very young organization and our resources are very limited.

There is a LOT that goes on out there in 3'rd world disasters that you never hear about in the news. Media reports are incredibly deceptive. It certainly IS true that the Haiti situation looks to be tragic, and heartbreaking for the people affected.

What tends to happen is that the major relief organizations are just not fast enough, flexible enough, or nimble enough to really get on top of these fast-moving diasasters. So when the news reports that "help is on the way" ... you should realize that assistance (i.e. food and supplies) may be being put on boats and airplanes. But that sure doesn't mean that any of it actually reached the victims in the first 48 hours. Typically what does happen is that massive amounts of relief supplies pile up at the docks at the affected country. But nobody can get them to the real disaster zone. So stuff just sits there for a long time. Food gets eaten by rats. A lot of equipment gets knocked off by looters who re-sell it in the black markets. Only a fraction of the aid ever gets to the victims. Too bad!

I'd be prepared to bet that the victims who were buried by that quake got virtually no help (incl. help digging them out) during the first 48 hours. But the first 48 hours is THE time when you need to dig out people and get them emergency food and water. The only immediate help probably came from those neighbors in Haiti who did what they could to help their fellow men and women.

I'm sure there are exceptions to what I am saying here. Military groups from around the world can be very effective in these disaster zones, because the military is self-organized, motivated, and has a get-the-job-done attitude. I've seen some fine examples of work by these units. But they tend to only stay in the disaster region for a limited time. Still - they do a great job.

The big civilian aid organizations typically don't become effective for at least a week, and most don't really get rolling until several weeks have gone by.

Ironically, what ends up happening in the third world is that these major disasters act as a "catalyst" to get some long-term assistance for the people there. Typically the actual victims of the disaster just live or die - they never get help fast enough to save them. But later on many organizations send doctors, nurses, and relief workers who wind up treating people for all kinds of on-going medical conditions (many of which have never seen any treatment). It's not unusual to be treating people who have gone 10-20 years with debilitating conditions ... but they just had no access to medicine or relief work.

other Pete


Edited by Pete (01/16/10 05:23 PM)

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#193688 - 01/16/10 08:58 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Pete]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

It might be an idea for the authority in charge of the relief effort to start thinking about evacuating the population centres with Haiti via shipping to other countries, where organsised tent cities can be setup much more easily than attempting to get the limited aid in though a single destroyed port and an airfield with limited capacity (A Berlin airlift scenario is beyond the abilities of the controlling authorities). Haitians are already voting with their feet and are attempting to bug out of the capital. One less mouth to feed on the island is one more mouth to feed for those that are left behind with the limited aid capacity than can be brought in. Shipping out 1 Haitian is a lot easier to do than shipping in 3-6 months of aid for 1 Haitian.

When they conclude this after massive outbreaks of disease begin to occur, which will occur after the security breakdown and civil unrest, (the local UN forces will not have the stomach to start shooting the locals) because of the failure to get in aid quickly enough, then it will be too late even to implement this measure.

I suspect that the overall death toll with Haiti may be many more times that of the initial 100,000-200,000 deaths due to the initial Earthquake. Time is quickly running out.


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#193690 - 01/16/10 09:21 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Pete]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Some observations from Israelis who've arrived on the scene:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1263147904646&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


Jan 15, 2010 20:10 | Updated Jan 16, 2010 23:30

'Shabbat from hell' reported by Israeli teams in Haiti

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

The large field hospital established by the Israel Defense Forces' Medical Corps at 10 a.m. Saturday local time was already treating dozens of patients four hours later....

Brig.-Gen. Shalom Ben-Arye, who heads the Israeli delegation, said Saturday afternoon that it was still possible to find survivors among the ruins of the capital. He was quoted by Israel Radio as saying that three search-and-rescue teams would leave at first light to search for survivors in several spots around the city, among them the collapsed UN headquarters.

The 121-member team includes 40 doctors including a psychiatrist, 20 nurses, 20 paramedics and medics, 20 lab and x-ray technicians and administrators.

...In a disturbing e-mail that Goldstein managed to send to ZAKA headquarters in Jerusalem, he writes of the "Shabbat from hell. Everywhere, the acrid smell of bodies hangs in the air. It's just like the stories we are told of the Holocaust - thousands of bodies everywhere. You have to understand that the situation is true madness, and the more time passes, there are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped. It is beyond comprehension."


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#193695 - 01/16/10 10:09 PM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Art_in_FL]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
The thing about people starting a rumor of a tidal wave to get people to drop supplies they can loot is itself a rumor.

I saw that one in real time on CNN with Anderson Cooper near that refugee's field. It's happened behind his back as he spoke with some local news guy.

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#193708 - 01/17/10 02:48 AM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
You want to evacuate several million people to third party nations.

In a country where the communictions infrastructure is patchy at the best of times, the fuel delivery system isn't any better, and there is neither functioning sea port facilities nor a central government in anything but name. That assumes that every one complies without the use of armed sweeps, and that won't happen.

Please, think about what you are saying. If you strip off the euphemisms, it is a forced relocation into internment camps. It will involved hundreds of thousands of those troops you so very happily despised a few days ago, marching people onto aircraft or landing craft at bayonet point. Were will you evacuate them to? No area will want them. Those internments camps will turn into concentration camps, with wire and guards between the residents of the areas you inflict these camps on and those who were marched into them.

Best to keep them there, in their country, at their homes. That way, they can get supplies and choose to rebuild or not on their own, providing the majority of the labor.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#193713 - 01/17/10 04:34 AM Re: Haiti: Worst Case Scenario [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1361
"It might be an idea for the authority in charge of the relief effort to start thinking about evacuating the population centres with Haiti via shipping to other countries"
--------------------------

Good idea .. but it's usually a complete free-for-all. There is no competent person in charge. This is the third world we're talking about. Leaders are corrupt and mostly on-the-take.

That's a big part of why the disaster zone is such a disaster in the first place. Chaos and confusion reign supreme. Each relief organization basically does their own thing - esp. in the beginning part of the effort. Later on, the large relief org's normally will start to develop informal coordination meetings. But these only happen in the main center - typically the capital city. So anybody working further out in the field is still experiencing the "free for all" mode of operation. That's life during third world disaster operations. It can be enormously frustrating and stressful - but there's no way to change it. It is ... what it is.

On the positive side - amazingly enough some good work gets done anyway. And best of all, a LOT of volunteers actually find ways to cooperate and work together for the common good. There will be volunteers from all over the world who show up and try to help. So a lot of good stuff still happens. Confused - yes. Chaotic - yes. But a positive contribution anyway.

other Pete

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