Hurricane Katrina: Graphic - What Went Wrong The Washington Post produced a timeline tracking Hurricane Katrina's path and listing the federal, state and local responses to the storm before and after it hit the Gulf Coast (updated thru 10/05)
Katrina's Aftermath -- Accountability This collection showcases Washington Post reporting on the debate over the government's response to the Gulf Coast Hurricanes and pre-storm planning. (updated thru 10/05)
The Associated Press reports, "a recent WHO study estimated that climate change, directly or
indirectly, contributes to about 77,000 deaths annually in Asia and the
Pacific - about half of the world total attributed to global warming". This is mind boggling. Suddenly the death toll from Hurricane Katrina (which is considered to be most significant disaster in contemporary U.S. history) pales in comparison. Complete story here.
The beginning of south Asia's rainy season has brought calamity to the region, spawning deadly cyclones and massive floods. Hundreds have been killed and hundreds of thousands are displaced, having lost their homes
to severe weather.
Pakistan has been particularly hard-hit: earlier this week a cyclone struck the nation's largest city, Karachi, killing at least 230 people. More than 900,000 Pakistanis are affected by the flood and, because
roads and bridges have been washed away, dozens of communities are trapped by swollen rivers.
Mercy Corps has three emergency response teams active in affected areas, working around the clock to determine the most urgent needs of displaced families. In the coming days, the organization plans to
mobilize aid to at least 90,000 people through its office in Quetta. This assistance will include critical shelter and household items to help families that have lost everything.
Mercy Corps' programs in Pakistan date back to the mid-1980s, and the organization is currently helping more than 320,000 people through improved health care, vocational training and business development. Our
response to the 2005 Pakistan Earthquake included medical care for over 100,000 survivors, construction of more than 6,000 cold-weather shelters and short-term employment for nearly 9,000 people.
We are collaborating with other agencies to determine the best ways to reach and deliver relief to Pakistani families in need.
The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people
by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest
humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in
This Bulletin (no. 04/2007) is being issued for information
only, and reflects the status of the situation and information
available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other
assistance from donors for this operation at this time.
Summary: The number of people affected by cyclone Yemyin
and subsequent flooding in Baluchistan province, in southern Pakistan,
has rapidly increased to 800,000 across seven districts, with an
unconfirmed death toll of 24. Many towns and villages have been
inundated with flood waters, while houses have been washed away. There
is extensive damage to roads and bridges.
The weather has eased in the neighbouring province of Sindh,
but there is heavy flooding in 16 villages in Juhi union council in
Dadu district to the north of Karachi city. Karachi, where over 200
people reported died as a result of the severe storm on 23 June 2007,
is in clean up mode. However, there are ongoing health concerns due to
the lack of clean water.
The Pakistan Red Crescent Society is providing emergency relief
food and non-food items and emergency health care. The PRCS is being
supported by the Federation and the International Committee of the Red
Cross in its response.
The flooding and damage caused by cyclone Yemyin in the southern
Pakistan province of Baluchistan has now affected 800,000 people and
claimed about 24 lives(1). According to the Baluchistan Provincial
Relief Commissioner, seven districts have been affected by flooding –
the coastal districts of Kech and Gwadar, and the north-eastern
districts of Jalmugsi, Bolan, Lasbela, Nasirabad and Jaffarabad.
The cyclone struck the Baluchistan coast on Tuesday, 26th
June, and while it has dissipated, it resulted in torrential rain in
many areas. A severe storm on 23rd June caused over 200 deaths in
Karachi city, in the adjoining Sindh province, and also affected the
districts of Thatta and Dadu in Sindh.
The Baluchistan Provincial Relief Commissioner says there are
no official estimates of the number of people rendered homeless, but he
confirms 50,000 people have been evacuated from villages in the Kech
valley to Turbat.
(1) This is an unofficial figure based on media reports. The
Baluchistan Provincial Relief Commissioner’s office did not have an
official figure at the time of reporting.
For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:
Baluchistan, Bolan, Cyclone Yemyin, Gwadar, International Committee of the Red cross, Jaffarabad, Jalmugsi, Juhi union council in Dadu District, Karachi, Kech, Lasbela, Nasirabad, Pakistan, Pakistan Cyclone, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Sindh
Okay here's where things stand re Invest 95L...Latest Update from the NHC:
000 ABNT20 KNHC 292107 TWOAT TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 530 PM EDT FRI JUN 29 2007
FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...
CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS OVER THE CENTRAL AND NORTHERN BAHAMAS AND THE FLORIDA PENINSULA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHERN FLORIDA PENINSULA. DEVELOPMENT IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME DUE TO STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS AND PROXIMITY TO LAND. THIS SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWARD NEAR OR OVER THE FLORIDA PENINSULA DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO...AND IT COULD PRODUCE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE BAHAMAS AND FLORIDA.
ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
Reader Melissa Packard just wrote to inquire as to what organizations (besides the Red Cross) are organizing relief for those impacted by the Pakistani storms. I understand that relief is slow in coming, but I am looking into that now. There are reports that Pakistan refused relief from the U.N...?News coming out of this area is a bit disjointed...it's hard to tell what really is happening there. This is the latest news article I can find: Pakistani police have fired teargas to break up a protest by
angry cyclone survivors as rescuers struggled to reach communities cut
off by floods affecting 900,000 people. Continue here.
Very grim situation in Pakistan this morning...BBC News reports, "some 800,000 people have now been hit by flooding in
Pakistan's Balochistan province, with hundreds of thousands of homes
destroyed, officials say, Many of them are without electricity or drinking water four days after a cyclone hit coastal districts. Eyewitnesses say there is almost no sign of government relief getting to the affected areas. Continue at BBC News.
The Tropics are a little active this morning. I've been watching a "low" develop off the south Florida coast but haven't been reporting on the system. There is no need to talk about every "blob" that develops...it's a bit like trying to watch a kettle boil...However, this system has just been designated Invest 95L by the NHC so it bears watching. At the very least it could mean heavy rains for Florida. Wind Shear is robust at the moment and not favorable to tropical storm development, but the shear is forecasted to drop over the next few days. We'll just have to wait and see on this one. Now here' s something to monitor. The subtropical jet is expected to weaken over the next couple of weeks bringing lower than average wind shear to the Atlantic and a higher than normal risk of a July tropical storm. However keep in mind this is only one factor that impacts storm development.
Human rights lawyer and Loyola law professor (guest blogging over at Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch) absolutely nails it in his 33 talking points re what's gone wrong - so terribly wrong - in the response to Hurricane Katrina (and its subsequent recovery challenges). What he says about that is very much the way it is. Where I disagree with Bill however, is I don't view the Katrina disaster as an African American issue. I view it as an everybody's issue. I prefer to hold a perspective of unity in diversity...and I personally know people from every race, color, creed, and ethnic group who have been significantly impacted by this disaster. For example, (and this is just one) Lakeview, a predominately white neighborhood in New Orleans is still virtually uninhabitable.
Additionally, I view recovery as an issue of concern not just for Louisiana, but for the nation...in fact, I view how we ("we" meaning the collective) respond or do not respond to complex crisis as a matter of global importance. And as one who has reported on and written about Katrina issues every day since the storm made landfall (669 days ago and 2,269 posts later to be exact) I've discovered there is a universality to disaster. I recently wrote a post about this theme but it bears repeating. Whether you are a hurricane survivor in Louisiana or a person whose lived through a Tsunami in Indonesia... the shock, confusion, and the long days ahead of putting your life back together are similar.
But getting back to the African American issue...I feel compelled to add that I have many African American friends---my comments are not intended to segregate.( It's just that it's in my nature to seek balance). And I do understand the unique challenges that pervade the African American communities. The element of poverty that unfortunately casts its dark shadow over the culture does add a unique dimension and additional barriers to the challenges of recovery. There are others.
Enough said. Quigley's blog post is one of those must reads. Check it out here.
It was the bi-annual email from my friend Jan, in Los Angeles:
Hi Paul, haven't heard much from you for a while. So things must be getting back to normal down there in New Orleans by now...drop me a line...Jan
The assumption from my friend in California seemed innocent enough, I guess. If you're thousands of miles away from the Gulf Coast, and you just email back and forth with your one friend in New Orleans once or twice a year -- and the media rarely utters the word "Katrina" anymore, I guess you would characterize New Orleans as "back to normal."
"Uh...no...Not. Absolutely not. The New Orleanian in me wanted to reach through cyberspace and virtually shake Jan into reality. Instead, I wrote back with a few of our current abnormalities.
Let's see...where to start: Congressman William Jefferson, who once sat on the House Ways and Means committee -- arguably the most powerful committee in the U.S. House of Representatives -- was indicted on 16 counts that included charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (Wiki it...it's serious stuff). If fully convicted, he faces a possible maximum sentence of 235 years.
Meanwhile, former New Orleans school board president Ellenese Brooks Simms pleaded guilty in Federal Court to accepting bribes in the amount of $140,000. OH, and who was her alleged accomplice in the alleged bribery? That would be Mose Jefferson -- Congressman Jefferson's brother.
Stay with me now...and don't ask me if anything is normal in New Orleans. It gets even better
The National Guard is now set to stay on the streets of New Orleans until at least November, just as the Guardian Angels are about to take up residence on other local streets. Why? Maybe because the city's per capita murder rate in 2006 was the highest in the U.S., and the 2007 figure is set to outdo last year. They're killing New Orleanians in places once considered untouchable. Somebody in law enforcement must start intercepting some bullets for us. Will it be the N.O.P.D.? Don't get me started.
We have potholes in city streets the size of lillie ponds, while even some of the most historic and beloved buildings are rotting. Our beautiful Saenger theatre, for example, is being allowed to decay. The elegant Fairmont Hotel, it is said, is so full of mold now that some say it may never open its doors again -- as a hotel, or anything else.
The other day I was driven through hard-hit New Orleans East, to see the new Musicians Village, a Habitat for Humanity-built row of colorful homes for local musicians. Nice, real nice. But it sits smack dab in the middle of complete Katrina devastation that has not been touched or altered in any way since August 29, 2005. The once highly-touted mixed income, government-subsidized Florida and Desire housing projects, inhabited only briefly before Katrina, now sit empty -- and rotting. A graveyard for N.O.P.D. vehicles that went under water during Katrina sits front and center, like a reminder of all that perished from the one great and might wave.
The once high profile Road Home Program -- the one that was to distribute checks up to $150,000 to thousands of storm-struck homeowners? Harken back to this idiom: There is no such thing as a free lunch. The Road Home Program, as it turns out, is short a mere $3.2 billion, and the Feds are fed up with subsidizing Louisiana. What will happen? Roadblock.
The honorable and well-fed C.Ray Nagin, Mayor of Crescent City, is similarly fed up with the feds. After a rather lengthy absence from the media, C. Ray finally re-emerged to say that New Orleans will seek foreign aid to rebuild the tattered city, since the feds have indicated their unwillingness to honor their original commitment to restore this corner of America. "France can take Treme. The Kind of Jordan can take the Lower Ninth Ward," Nagin said, referring to two New Orleans neighborhoods.
Cash strapped, resource sapped and benefits capped, New Orleans is hoping for a Middle East rescue and a European dole out. And, if it all seems like pie in the sky to you, consider this: it was revealed recently that $854 million in foreign aid was offered to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Of that astronomically generous figure, the Bush administration accepted only $126 million, evidently fearing the acceptance of almost $1 billion from over there and over there would somehow make us look weak over here. Weighing the foreign perception of weakness against thousands of Gulf Coast residents still without homes, jobs or income, the President of the United States politely declined $728 million from world sources. How would it look, the administration probably reasoned, if we had accepted Fidel Castro's offer of 1,000 medical personnel to be deployed to New Orleans?
As long as we're talking numbers, consider this: The U.S. has spent upwards of $400 billion in Iraq to let more than 3,500 U.S. service men and women die. All the Gulf Coast is asking for is a fraction of that amount to allow thousands right here to live.
Do not mistake these words for dramatic license or overstatement. The proof, as usual, is in the numbers. On June 2, 2007, the New Orleans coroner, Dr. Frank MInyard, said, There is not doubt in my mind that Katrina is still killing our residents. People with pre-existing conditions that were made worse by the stress of living here after the storm. Old people who are just giving up. People who are killing themselves because they feel they can't go on," Minyard said.
And, if you choose to simply attribute those comments to one man who has seen too much death, please read on.
On June 22, 2007, the New Orleans Health Department released its findings that for at least one year after Hurricane Katrina, the death rate in New Orleans was frighteningly higher than other U.S. cities. Specifically, the findings reveal a death rate of 14.3 per 1,000 people during the first three months of 2006, compared with 11.3 per 1,000 for three-month spans in 2002 and 2004. The national average is 8.2 deaths per 1,000 people. The overall death rate in New Orleans rose last year by 47%, compared with two years before Katrina.
How can we explain these figures? As a New Orleanian who has actively observed the city's slow crawl back to life, I attribute the local death rate to three elements: 1) A crippled health care infrastructure; 2) George Bush; 3) Weary citizens who simply did not have the mental and/or physical strength to endure the unprecedented ravages and lingering torment of Hurricane Katrina.
Dear Jan, I guess things are as good as can be expected, considering. Great to hear from you. Paul
Margaret Saizan is a digital media producer, visual arts rep & vision strategist. Her mission is to inspire new vision through transformational media and communications.
Paul A. Greenberg Paul A. Greenberg teaches journalism at Tulane University in New Orleans. He also writes for a number of local, regional and national publications. Greenberg has been chronicling post-Katrina New Orleans since five days after the storm.
Maida Owens Ad director of the Louisiana Folklife Program Owens has curated exhibits & websites, authored & edited books & articles, produced videos, & created educational materials on Louisiana’s many traditional cultures.
Matthew White White has photographed every notable location on the La. coast. His photos and essays capture a landscape touched by and triumphing over catastrophe
Yoshio & Keiko Toyama Japanese Jazz Musicians and Co-founders of The Wonderful World Jazz Foundation which aids musicians in New Orleans.
Rick Portier As a TV photog in Baton Rouge Rick's been telling stories all of his life - Here are some of his!
Carol McClelland, PhD Transition expert focused on helping people get back on their feet after their lives have been turned upside down by natural disasters.
Making Change For Katrina National citizen-driven fundraising campaign to collect spare change to benefit the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. The recipient is Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds simple, decent housing for people in need.
Emergency Communities a grassroots, on-the-ground relief effort using compassion and creativity to provide for those worst effected by disasters.
Sister City Support Network We are one city assisting one other city in its long term effort to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by: networking within our community, with other towns who embrace Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi as a sister city, and most importantly, with locals who live in Bay Saint Louis.
Levees.org grass roots effort to petition President Bush to build stronger levees. Excellent resource with facts related to Louisiana levees
Coast 2050: Toward a Sustainable Coastal Louisiana The failed levees in New Orleans are just a symptom of this larger problem.While reasons for Louisiana's coastal erosion may be more complex than levees, they are part of the problem that has a solution.
Alternate ROOTS artists, activists, and culturalworkers supporting constructive self-determination by affected communities as they begin the process of healing and rebuilding & assistance for artists & cultural workers affected by the hurricane.