Friday, September 2, 2005

America's Black Tsunami

That is what Hurricane Katrina is being described. The stories coming out of New Orleans are unbelievable. The scenes that we have been seeing during the past few days, hardly seem to be from the US. Most of the people affected are Blacks. Mississippi and Louisiana are the two states where the most number of Blacks live.

A friend of mine who works in the US and is currently holidaying here in Bangalore came out with two theories:

1. The US and state administrations put out enough warning, but the residents being what they are, probabaly didn't heed the warning and stay put.

2. Knowing the residents, the administrations didn't do enough to rescue them.

Scenes on TV showing residents crying out: "It's two days since I haven't had food", made me wonder about how efficient the system is. It seems the system is good only when everything is fine. Once there is breakdown and chaos, the people are just lost with no one to turn to.

If there was a similar situation in India, like in Mumbai recently, probably Indians would have coped better. Only because, Indians are used to such breakdowns and system instantly adjusts to take care of the immediate needs.

Mumbai ground to a halt during those recent days of flood. But there weren't looting and rape, nor were there people starving.


  1. "probabaly didn't heed the warning and stay put.".....probably they had no idea of the devastating power of katrina....

    thanx for dropping by my site.....
    hope we'll meet again....

  2. This is indeed sad. I watched the images on CNN and it was pretty dreadful.

  3. If you'd like to read an alternative view on what could have been done differently in this scenario, read the post titled "When the Levee the blog at: This, although pretty strongly-worded, is very sensible and worth a read.