Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti: Survival's Desperate Seconds

"We got to get clean, potable water to the people of Haiti within the next 24 hours or their will be many more casualties" reiterated Nun Clancy chief operating officer of the World Emergency Services branch. Nun, a decorated veteran of more global catastrophe's than she cared to remember was adamant. "We need to air-drop water via helicopter stat!". The delegation of emergency relief workers were keen on Nun's every word. "Right away, Mam".
Soon the comforting sound of the borrowed high-tech helicopters were heard in the distance. "We don't have the luxury of waiting a moment longer; the crises mode is at maximal." Nun knew every fine detail regarding disaster operations and was comfortable barking orders to those in her ranks. Nun during this real-time disaster was experiencing first-hand her own crisis mode.
Today, the Haitian crisis had been taking on a personal dimension. Nun's own life was modelling the very disasters, past and present, she was trying to remedy. Nun's adopted Haitian daughter, Enoche Prudfille, a humanitarian aid worker previously posted to Haiti was at ground zero, alive but waiting for two horribly gruelling days for any sign of relief.
Today Enoche could hear in the distance the sound of helicopters. She thought that no doubt they were sent by some divine intervention; her mother and the World Emergency Disaster Relief personnel; angels with wings. Enoche could barely swallow from thirst as she said a silent prayer. She survived the earthquake's devastating toll by escaping outside at the quakes first rumbling signs.
There were so many plans in place for these varying emergencies. Nun knew that there could be, or should be many more methods available to all disaster relief staff. The water issue was basic and it should have been handled with much more precision. Water was vital. As vital as having field hospitals immediately set up in various radius designations. Nun knew that the fight was a fight against time. To rescue people in collapsed buildings, to tend to the injured; to save the living from disease-prone dead bodies. Nun had explored and implored the various governments to actively pursue new technologies and methods to save more people in any possible disaster, from floods to earthquakes, etc.
The ideas Nun had proposed to the committee for publication was not treated with any adequate form of address thought Nun. She had tabled many key speeches on the subject of finding methods to provide clean water to relief and surviving members of disasters. The proposal was simple, but ignored. Water should be carried on all disaster workers on belts. Another keen idea for speeding up rescue efforts proposed by Nun was the new NASA-based project called Pneumatic beachball hoyst. PBH for short, was engineered by Enoche's father, Enoch Prudfille II.
This new device was the size of a beach ball and could be blown up underneath collapsed buildings to help lift cement and fortified cement. Waiting hours if not days for bulldozers to arrive, and the bulldozers often awkward way of lifting slabs of concrete in danger of collapsing again from aftershocks and undue stress was tantamount. Enoch Prudfille II was aware of such disaster needs, real needs being met by re-thinking how to save lives in such field operations.
Unfortunately Nun had the only prototype of the devise. Enoche Prudfille II was somewhere in Haiti before the quake but they were unable to find him. Another idea of his was the concept of having everyone carry on their person at all times cell phones. Noting how much energy a quake emits was a shock for the Doctor. He did find shocking the findings that quakes emit more energy than sunbursts. Could this be a contributor to global warming thought the good doctor, geothermal energy slowly radiating from the core of the earth. Could these energies, like high pitched ringing in the ears, like a sympony of sound from various areas, giving off various sounds, which could be deciphered one day, to give further, and a much better understanding of the earthquake mechanisms which seemed, so far, to delude the knowledge-based earth scientists working at NASA and other scientists in this field.
Enoch Prudfille II had been opening up new discoveries to help in the various disasters he was now experiencing directly.
"Where could he be?" thought Enoche the beautiful twenty-one year old. Her father's last cellphone call was now over a day ago. She got the gps reading of his transmission and was now in the very area where the call came had originated. It was getting dark. It was now the third day post-earth quake. The hellish sounds of last night were dying down, and only whimpers could be heard coming from the collapsed buildings. "I am standing on the very spot where Dad was calling me" thought Enoche. As Enoche looked at her feet she thought, "No, it can't be". Enoche saw a glimmer of gold, and she fell to the ground crying. She dug with her fingers through the pieces of rubble. She held the watch up to the sky. "Noooooo..."
Delegations from China, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, had arrived at the dilapatated dondemned airport. Reporters and crew had until now been able to land planes at all. The conrol tower was virtually cut in two. If it were not for the amazing bravery of the first aid workers who unanimously voted to land. "It's now or never; we cannot wait for the helicopters or boats; people's lives are at stake". Today the successful landing of the C140's gave credence to the old adage "when there's a will there's a way". Peter Groom looked over at the other aisle seat loaded with body bags. "This is a bigger disaster than 911". He thought pensively to himself, reflecting on his last disheartening task. "Jones, you better call for more bags." Jones knew exactly what Groom meant; the count was going to be much higher than previously estimated. "Should I send for some of the anti-malaria/typhoid covers?" Sam Jones asked Peter. "Yes, I think so Sam, we won't be able to get to all the bodies before the diseases manifest; that's approximately a week and a half." Sam Jones pushed back his thick horned-rimmed glasses and cleared his throat; he knew how daunting the task before him and the team.
When the delegation from various countries arrived at the airport; a make-shift tent in lieu of a meeting room greeted them. Amazingly, the teams assembled with haste as all had been planning for such disasters for most of their lives. Various groups were colour-coded for ease of deportment and access. The journalists knew where to go and arrived at the far end of the Porte-Au-Prince airport assembling in small groups with the media press kits available. This Is The News Andy Cooper was one of the first to arrive and report the scene directly to the media-hungry public. "This is Andy Cooper reporting live from Haiti. The screams and disorder from last night have calmed and the rescue workers have been busy pulling people out of the rubble. So far there's has been hundreds of people saved by the rescue teams. Here's a clip of a little girl pulled out from under two huge slabs of concrete, her foot and ankle pinned underneath. Thankfully there is not a scratch on her. It is miraculous how she survived." Andy Cooper was busy concentrating on his reporting by cellphone to The News Network when a man grabbed his microphone. "Thank-you people out there for helping us and saving my daughter's life; without your flashlights and help, we would have certainly have lost her!" Andy Cooper looked stunned and dazed at the camera phone. "It is things like this that make you want to cry...I...I..." Andy Cooper could not continue his report and gave the microphone to his colleague. "Cut!" yelled Cooper's assistant. The live feed from Haiti was taking it's toll on the reporters and workers. "When I saw the look in that man's eyes after his daughter was saved it was just too much. I feel better now." Andy Cooper grabbed the microphone from his assistant and "This TNN live, Andy Cooper reporting...the most devasted areas are being slowly examined as buildings are still being rocked by the aftershocks, some are as high as 5.0, and they are not stopping, The aftershocks may go on for days if not years but the work to find the injured is ongoing and will not stop through the night and day, for as long as it takes. If you have loved ones in Haiti please call the number on the screen". Andy gave the microphone back to Ed his assistant. "You want to find me some water please, thanks Eddy". Andy took a huge gulp and sat down on an old crate whiping his forehead. "We're live in how many seconds?"

Would Nun and the World's Emergency Response Team find her daughter and hustand in time to save their lives?


  1. Our hearts really go out to the people of Haiti.
    Other than sending money there is little, I personally can do.
    Makes one feel very impotent
    and also very spoiled. So I am really grateful for what I have.
    Yes, I do live half a block from the Chelsea Hotel --the dog and I walk past it almost daily.
    It is a wonderful part of Manhattan and it is impossible to be bored for a second.
    All best wishes

  2. I must say that George W. Bush and his crowd of generals in the Pentagon couldn't get one glass of water to a man standing on a roof in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.

    So far, I have seen no evidence that President Obama has been any more successful than Bush.

    Somehow, other countries seem to be there with aid a long time before America arrives.

    And then I must point out that President Bush said we didn't need any help and we would take care of it ourselves. Which was another one of his unfathomable lies.

    My Birds Blog

  3. Thank-you for your comments Elizabeth and Abe! Haiti's staggering logistics, death toll now at perhaps over 200 k is probably the worst disaster in history. Not sure why it was so difficult to get some helicopters in their within 48 hours to airdrop water and food. How long for the Portijohns to arrive? NOt sure what causes the delay in these disasters as every moment is vital to survival. What is the problem, really?