I can't help compare it to other disasters, such as the bush fires in Victoria two years ago, New Orleans some years back and the oil spill last year. What causes one disaster to be managed so differently to other disasters? Why does the sense of hope seem to be so resonant this time? Is it just the media or something else? It's interesting to watch, to, in a sense, be part of.
It does make a difference where disaster strikes. Last year, remember, Port-au-Prince in Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake...then a few months later there was one of similar size in Chile. Haiti got the handling, and still gets it...the quake in Chile slipped out of the headlines quickly.
Why? The general perception, probably true, that Haiti can't take care of itself under the best of circumstances, and that, of all the places in the world that could get hit by disaster, this was one least likely to handle it.
New Orleans has a reputation within the United States for, well, being a problem child as far as cities go. A lot of the Hurricane Katrina problems flowed from that, particularly the lack of a well-thought-out hurricane evacuation plan. Other areas were trashed at the same time, and had no such problems.
You guys in Australia, you look and act like you can handle what hits you, whatever it happens to be. If you need help, of one kind or another, you'll ask for it. You'll make do, and you'll pull through.
Unlike the Brisbane River, which will continue flooding today, the worst is over for the Pine River (so long as it doesn't rain - it now seems a brighter day with little rain). So we have survived.
I took some footage of the river. Imagine a 400m wide river travelling at 40 - 50 km per hour. What you see of the Brisbane river is slow compared to the pace that the Pine was going - more the pace of the Toowoomba footage but on a much larger scale (and in the river bed where it is suppose to). An incredible amount of water.
[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited January 12, 2011).]
Keep well, and remember that when the waters come they come swift...
Fortunately, even though it is in the state that I am living, it will cross over a thousand miles north of here, so we will only get the rain at the edge.
Do they think it will calm down any as it moves inland? (It appears to be headed almost straight for Ayers Rock, if not a little south of it.)
I also dig the US-centric overlay. We in the US tend to be self-centered, and it's cool that there's a way to convey the severity of this storm to help us Americans.
"The cyclone is huge!"
"I don't understand."
"It would probably destroy the UK."
"No, I mean, I don't understand what a cyclone is. Isn't that Japanese for thunderstorm?"
"It's a hurricane."
"Ohhhhhhhhhh. And you say it's destroying the UK?"
"No, it's going to hit Australia."
"Oh, man. What's going to happen to The Lord of the Rings tourism?"
"That's New Zealand."
"Really? I could've sworn I saw something in Entertainment Weekly...anyway, I guess that doesn't matter. How big is this again? You say it's pretty big, right?"
"Huge! It would cover Southeast Asia, and impact Central Asia, too."
"If it were to hit Europe, the UK would surely be devastated, and the European continent would be severely affected as well."
"The storm would almost cover the entire United States."
"OHMYGAWD!!!! SOMEBODY SHOULD DO SOMETHING!!"
Actually, I thought this storm is playing third- or fourth-banana in the news coverage here in the USA to Egypt, to (American) politics, and to a few other things.
Hurricanes aren't to be taken lightly...I've ridden through a couple over the years. One of 'em trashed a roof I was going to replace anyway...but if I'd'a know it was going to pass as close as it did (fifteen or twenty miles), I might've bugged out with some of my neighbors.
(Great was my joy when the hurricane passed and I found all those tiles in the back yard were from my neighbor's house. Considerably less was my joy when I had to pick all those tiles up.)
In line with our thesis, I'd say help is being offered to Japan, but Japan will choose what it is willing to take.