Monday, November 05, 2012

Hurricane Sandy’s damage to the Caribbean

Yesterday while visiting with family most of us men were huddled around the TV watching football. During the New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh game someone made the joke wondering how many generators were being used to power the Met Life stadium, while millions in the area are still without power from Hurricane Sandy. Then we began to wonder why there was such a controversy over having the New York City Marathon while there was none over the Giants game. Why was one event canceled, while there was no talk of moving the football game to Pittsburgh?

This is our roundabout way of saying how good we have it here. We have the power, ability and money to pull of major events just days after a super storm. The U. S. wasn't the only place hit by Hurricane Sandy, many islands and countries in the Caribbean were hurt by the storm as well. The difference being that they don't have the money to recuperate as quickly as we do. They are unable to do it by themselves and ask for assistance from abroad. For some of those islands, it's another in long line of major calamities that they never fully recover from.

From the Guardian, commentator Garry Pierre - Pierre has this reminder of other regions hurt by the storm.
But when it became clear that the New York region would bear the full force of Sandy, the news media deployed their own massive force to cover every movement of the story. The networks and local television stations battled to show which reporter was bravest as they fed us live feeds of journalists standing in the middle of the hurricane.
The resilience and heroism of average people were the narrative the day after the storm. The dead were rightly given a face and their lives memorialised.
But we seldom see these kinds of reportage out of places like Haiti, a country that has seen more natural disasters than the richest countries would be able to handle adequately, let alone one of the poorest nations on Earth.
Hurricane Sandy drenched the country's south with more than 20 inches of rainfall. As the rivers receded, allowing officials to travel through the storm-drenched southern peninsula, the death toll rose to 52.
In Cuba, 200,000 homes were damaged by the hurricane.
In the Bahamas, the total cost of damage to private property and public infrastructure is expected to reach $300m, according to a report from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. That total would be higher than last year's Hurricane Irene, which caused about $250m in damage to the island chain east of Florida.

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