#264 possible quake predicted 2 years ago

No one expected an earthquake to break out in Haiti even though she was warned 2 years ago by scientists a quake was possible. No one believed this could happen as there was no quake for the last 200 years in its natural history. No one was prepared for this tumultuous magnitude.

The 7.1 magnitude Richter scale earthquake literally wiped away the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince — its infrastructures and all government buildings; presidential palace, justice palace and the churches and cathedrals and the 5-star hotels…many, many others. These buildings were supposed to withstand the quake but… Naturally the loss of human lives outweighs all — the nationals (an estimate of 150,000 or more dead in a city of 3-4 million people without mentioning those homeless and missing), foreigners and peacekeepers.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the West, if not in the world. This is the result of greed and corruption of governing leaders who thought of themselves rather than the people. Is this one ugly face of democracy?!

The aerial view of the island is made up of Dominican Republic and Haiti. On the Dominican Republic, it’s green but on the Haiti side, it’s brown, little vegetation. Were the people in Haiti so poor that they exhausted that they could find in order to survive? Interestingly, the quake whose epicenter struck close to the Haitian capital did not affect the Dominican Republic.

However the Haitians are resilient. One witnesses those surviving are grateful they are alive.

Children as young as a few years old were rescued from the rubble after several days without nourishment or liquid; a few elderly in 70s and 80s; and the one in his 20s after 11 days! One cannot underestimate the will and  inner strength of man…

Looting was evident in all places of tragedy when aid was slow in coming after several days fled by.

Though the promised aid was forthcoming but food and water was slow…so very, very, very slow in reaching the people in need…naturally a hungry man is an angry man.

How do you survive and keep sane and good when your loved ones are missing or dead? Dead bodies strewed everywhere. The stench in the air. People are in state of shock. Rubbles strewed all around. Buildings collapsed. No home to return to. Literally nothing!

My impression of Haiti was Haitians practised voodoo which is one black magic or dark forces which even seeped into the churches – the Catholic cathedral and the Episcopalian cathedral! Can this quake wipe out this voodoo practice?!

Can Haiti start from ground zero? I know the people have the ability but… Will the necessary aid and billions of funds raised get to the people there?  (I hope NOT those American contractors assigned to build Haiti though!) Are there good and able leaders who are willing to sacrifice themselves for nation-building?

On Russia Today Spotlight tv program, I heard an interview where this young Haitian student working on his postgraduate in Russia is very articulate in his understanding of his own country and insight into the devastation.

Those Haitians studying overseas will not be able to receive funds from home any more…

I pray for God to raise good, upright and able leaders who are willing to sacrifice for the new breed of Haitians.

#172 desert farming

I found this videoclip at International Herald Tribune on the risks of desert farming.

Israel is a country that makes the most of every drop of water there is to produce food…Naturally the cost of producing food this way is costly and there is no way that man can control the weather. Will man die of starvation when there is massive drought?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid959009704?bclid=1026280058&bctid=1721772082.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid959009704?bclid=1026280058&bctid=1721772082. (dated 10 August 2008 IHT)

Lest not able to see the videoclip, please enter ‘the health and science’ category on the right of the videoclip page.

#104 aftermath of cyclone in burma

What manner of man is the head of the military junta? A case of mixing politics and humanitarian aid? Pride?

Six days passed after cyclone nargis swept through the Irrawaddy Delta and Rangoon, the head of state is slow to respond to international relief initated by the world — food and medicine. What a tragedy indeed!

Each passing day sees more people die without food and water, disintegrating dead bodies causing water-borne diseases and access into affected areas blocked making relief work impossible!

Storms batter Burma every year. Though warned on its severity given 48 hours before by the Indian meteorologists (in 1991 cyclone in Bangladesh claimed 143,000 lives), the scale of devastation revealed the people woke up on Sunday to rude shock and anguish.

Why were people not evacuated in the fierce wind-swept and flooded areas?

Cyclones are caused by huge revolving winds (in tropics clockwise circle) around a central area of low atmospheric pressure. Its destructive force is the fierce winds churning up the sea, causing giant waves and surges of water rushing inland with deadly power flooding the low-lying coastal areas. The heavy rain falls brought serious flooding around the rivers and delta.

Is the head of the military junta punishing the people for being fed up with his regime? Is he waiting for constitutional referendum on May 10th to decide further action? Is he so sick that those around him are paralysed to decisive and humane solutions?

During the protests, there was mobilization of the military; this devastation, few military personnel seen.

Under military power since 1962, will the Burmese rise in revolt and oust the military junta like the collective action created in the Philippines?

 

#103 forces of nature

 Volcano eruption in Chile, South America.

 

 

 

Volcanic ash spilled over to neighboring Argentina (below)

 

 

 

 

 

Cyclone Nargis swept through Irrawaddy Delta, Myanmar on Saturday, 3rd 4th May leaving hundreds several thousands or tens of thousands? dead and tens or hundreds of thousands homeless…trees uprooted, roofs of building blown away, lamp posts fallen…no electricity and water.

Will this flood deepen rice grain crisis further?  

 

Video footage on the force of cyclone: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7385157.stm (update 6th May)

 

And then read:

As many as 25 tornadoes may have cut through stretches of Oklahoma, Arkansas, eastern Kansas and western Missouri, Greg Carbin, a meteorologist for the national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, told the Associated Press news agency.

 

Man might fight over territorial rights but the forces of mother nature is one power man cannot overcome or avoid.

 

#86 no water

This happened last evening.

My sister exclaimed, “Look, the color of water is rusty!”

I had just started the washing machine. I hear the sound of water pressure lower. I note the water flow was lower and smaller. Am I imagining?

Just as I was about to conclude, my sister cried, “No water running from the tap!”

I called SP around 7.30pm to find the person answering the line an outsourced receptionist attending to my query on the water problem.

The girl said, “We’ve received calls earlier.”

“When?”

“Around 7 o’clock.”

I asked, “Why were we not informed?”

“Sorry, we’re from the outsourced company attending to calls.”

I fumed. These days when management streamlined and outsourced the relevant departments, they were thinking of themselves — how to cut cost on staffing to reduce department expenditures.

In this case, I was in no position to air my grievances.

I said, “I grew up when there was water rationing, we were told to collect water. Here, we were surprised to find we had no water.”

It was around 10 o’clock? that I find households queueing up the public tap to collect water!

Around 7pm was most critical time of day. Many returned home from work and needing a shower; prepare dinners; etc — using water at the maximum for the day.

The problem: a faulty pump in the watertank that provide us the water.

The excuse: this is an accident. No one can tell.

My question: where is the efficiency of maintenance? Was service and maintenance not included when we paid our bills? Am I expecting too much from the authorities?

Previously when there was water problem, I could call the relevant department and get a response from a supervisor on the job.

These days of outsourcing, those who attend the calls have nothing to do with the department.

Is this what outsourcing and service all about? Is this efficiency for the public? Or is this to benefit those who want to bulge their pockets?