KATRINA: Indexed Quotations etc. | September 5, 2005
| FEMA |
Douglas Drenkow, "Progressive
do to the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you do it to
me." -- Jesus Christ
"...scenes of horror that seemed to be coming from some Third World
was just survival of the richest." -- Bob
once more plunged into a snake pit of anarchy, death, looting,
raping, marauding thugs, suffering innocents, a shattered
infrastructure, a gutted police force, insufficient troop levels,
and criminally negligent government planning. But this time it's
happening in America." -- Maureen
resembled a scene from the Apocalypse on Wednesday morning, with
thousands of refugees trapped in a hellish environment of short
tempers, unbearable heat, and the overwhelming stench of human
waste." -- The
morning, running water to the building was lost -- as it was
throughout the city -- making the already overwhelming bathrooms
"As people stood in long lines to receive rations of water
and pre-made military meals, they put their shirts over their
noses to block out the odor...
"'It's chaotic, and it smells,' said barbershop owner Ted
Mitchell...'That place is not fit for people to be living in.'
"'They're treating people like prisoners in there,' said
Shelton Alexander as he left the Dome for the thigh-high waters of
Poydras Street. 'It's so hot in there, and people are s--ting on
the floors.'" -- The
deathly ill patients were left without power, with ventilators
that didn't work, with floodwaters rising on the lower floors and
with corpses rotting in the corridors and stairwells. People
unable to breathe on their own, or with cancer or heart disease or
kidney failure, slipped into comas and sank into their final sleep
in front of helpless doctors and relatives. These were Americans
in desperate trouble.
"The president didn't seem
"Death and the stink of
decay were all over the city. Corpses were propped up in
wheelchairs and on lawn furniture, or left to decompose on
sunbaked sidewalks. Some floated by in water fouled by human
"Degenerates roamed the
city, shooting at rescue workers, beating and robbing distraught
residents and tourists, raping women and girls. The president of
the richest, most powerful country in the history of the world
didn't seem to notice.
"Viewers could watch
diabetics go into insulin shock on national television, and you
could see babies with the pale, vacant look of hunger that we're
more used to seeing in dispatches from the third world. You
could see their mothers, dirty and hungry themselves, weeping.
"Old, critically ill
people were left to soil themselves and in some cases die like
stray animals on the floor of an airport triage center. For days
the president of the United States didn't seem to notice.
"He would have noticed if
the majority of these stricken folks had been white and
prosperous. But they weren't. Most were black and poor, and
thus, to the George W. Bush administration, still invisible...
"And when the president is
so obviously clueless about matters so obviously important, it
means that the rest of us, like the people left stranded in New
Orleans, are in deep, deep trouble."
littered the flooded streets of New Orleans today and mounting
violence threatened to turn into all-out anarchy as thousands of
survivors of Hurricane Katrina pleaded to be evacuated, or even
jazz city has fallen prey to armed looters since Katrina tore
through and it now more closely resembles Haiti or another Third
World trouble spot in a refugee crisis than one of America's most
popular vacation centres...
rescue teams and even hospital workers came under gunfire today...
increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of rescue and evacuation
efforts a full three days after Katrina tore up the US Gulf Coast.
in wheelchairs braved flooded streets in search of help, and
entire families were trapped on elevated highways without food or
water in sweltering heat.
help,'' people chanted at the city convention centre, where
thousands of evacuees were told to seek shelter only to find
woefully inadequate supplies of food or water.
corpses lay in nearby streets. The body of one elderly woman was
simply abandoned in her wheelchair, covered with just a blanket.
feared thousands of people were killed but they could still only
guess at the death toll.
"With much of
New Orleans flooded and electricity cut off, hospitals struggled
to evacuate critically ill patients who were dying for lack of
oxygen, insulin or intravenous fluids...
"At a city
airport, scores of people, many of them seriously ill, waited for
flights out to shelter and proper medical care before more of them
of another possible health catastrophe in coming days as diseases
flourish in filthy, contaminated floodwaters on streets covered in
garbage and human faeces...
between 15,000 and 20,000 survivors were still stranded at the
convention centre and, with supplies rapidly running out, there
were not enough buses to ferry them to shelter in Houston, as
were in a desperate race to pluck stranded residents from their
homes, some clinging to the roof or any spot they could find above
the water line. Survivors were still being pulled out, but the
corpses were left behind...
domestic relief and security effort in US history...
"The US Senate
approved a $US10.5 billion ($A13.8 billion) emergency funding bill
requested by Bush to speed help to Katrina's victims, and the
House of Representatives is expected to pass identical legislation
looters should be treated with 'zero tolerance'' and also urged
Americans to conserve petrol...
refineries on the US Gulf Coast shut, retail petrol prices soared
to new records.
disaster declarations covered 234,000 square kilometres along the
US Gulf Coast, an area roughly the size of Britain.
"As many as
400,000 people had been forced to leave their homes...
"Much of the
city was still under several feet of water and officials said it
could take a month to get the water out."
as reported in "The Age" (Melbourne, Australia)
confines stood in stark contrast to those of people nearby in the
restricted-access New Orleans Centre and Hyatt Hotel, where those
who could get in lounged in relative comfort. A few blocks farther
away, guests were being fed 'foie gras and rack of lamb' for
dinner, according to a photographer who stayed there, while the
masses, most of them poor, huddled in the Dome." -- The
Phillips' sleepless nights are filled with the images of dead
babies and women, and young and old men with tattered T-shirts or
graying temples, all of whom she saw floating along the streets of
the Lower 9th Ward." -- The
"The rescuers in the boats that picked us up had to push the
bodies back with sticks. And there was this little baby. She
looked so perfect and so beautiful. I just wanted to scoop her up
and breathe life back into her little lungs." -- Lucrece
Phillips, survivor of the Lower 9th Ward
increasingly unsanitary convention center, crowds swelled to about
25,000 and desperate refugees clamored for food, water and
attention while dead bodies, slumped in wheelchairs or wrapped in
sheets, lay in their midst." -- New
"It was chaos
[in the convention center]. There was nobody there, nobody in
charge. And there was nobody giving even water. The children, you
should see them, they're all just in tears. There are sick people.
We saw... people who are dying in front of you." -- CNN
Producer Kim Segal
"Some people there [in the
convention center] have not eaten or drunk water for three or four
days, which is inexcusable. We need additional troops, food, water;
and we need personnel, law enforcement. This has turned into a
situation where the city is being run by thugs." -- Joseph
W. Matthews, the director of the city's Office of Emergency
"In the last day, 40,000
people have come through the New Orleans airport. They have either
been taken to the terminal to get medical attention or to get on
flights out of New Orleans.
"...The medical teams here
are treating about 800 patients an hour.
"...many of these folks are
in critical condition. They are plucked from hospitals or from
nursing homes around the area.
"It is a constant flow of
people coming through here. It is gut wrenching to see many of
these people being dropped off on luggage racks, holding their
belongings in trash bags. Many of them are walking barefoot along
the tarmac here just hoping the catch a flight out of the city."
"We're now driving on
Interstate 10, and there is just an incredible scene. It looks
like people are actually living on the highway.
"Some of them may be waiting
to be picked-up. But I'm not exaggerating when I say probably
thousands of people are just sitting on the interstate, sitting on
the side of the road, and shielding their faces from the sun. It
is an intensely hot day.
"Even port-a-johns have been
set up on Interstate 10."
"We're just a
bunch of rats." -- Earle
Young, 31, a cook who stood waiting in a throng of perhaps
10,000 outside the Superdome
I guess that is the best word for it. If you think about a
hospital, for example, the morgue is in the basement, and the
basement is completely flooded. So you can just imagine the scene
down there. But when patients die in the hospital, there is no
place to put them, so they're in the stairwells. It is one of the
most unbelievable situations I've seen as a doctor, certainly as a
journalist as well. There is no electricity. There is no water.
There's over 200 patients still here remaining." -- CNN's
Dr. Sanjay Gupta
"We still have
200 patients in this hospital, many of them needing care that they
just can't get. The conditions are such that it's very dangerous
for the patients. Just about all the patients in our services had
fevers. Our toilets are overflowing. They are filled with stool
and urine. And the smell, if you can imagine, is so bad, you know,
many of us had gagging and some people even threw up. It's pretty
rough." -- Dr.
Matthew Bellew, Charity Hospital
"The Next Few
Days Are Critical" -- American Red Cross television
thinking small, man...people are dying and they're dying by the
hundreds...There is nothing happening. And they're feeding the
public a line of bull and they're spinning, and people are dying
down here...Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix
the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country."
Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin
"...a replay of
the sinking of the Titanic. New Orleans's first-class passengers
made it safely into lifeboats; for those in steerage, it was a
horrifying spectacle of every man, woman and child for
himself." -- Frank
"The whole coastal area of
the state has been destroyed, virtually destroyed. It was quiet.
It was eerie. It was horrible to behold." -- US
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and
industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later
perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be
rescued." -- National
Geographic Magazine October, 2004, in an eerily prescient
hypothetical worst-case scenario
on post-disaster re-construction] compared it to the 1995
earthquake that struck Kobe, Japan, killing 6,000 people and
running up more than $150 billion reconstruction costs. More than
100,000 buildings were destroyed and 300,000 people were left
homeless." -- The
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