Call me cynical, but the first thought that muscled its way to the front of the line in my mind wasn't, "How sad that people died and had property destroyed in this storm." No, it was, "I wonder how much money this is going to cost the USA?" Heck, I don't even know if the US government will be sending "aid," a euphemism for tax dollars, but I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if it didn't.
Isn't it awful that a human being can't feel at least a bit of compassion for a disaster without thinking about how much he'll be fleeced for it? But that's the kind of reaction the US government has wrought with its innumerable instances of largess to folks who should be their own government's concern. Thanks, FedGov, for making me so callous.
By the way, notice the term "global warming" used below--this must have been a slip-up. I thought the new term for this is "climate change," since global warming now may or may not be happening. But since adopting the phrase climate change, the totalitarian-at-heart environmentalists can now have all of the bases covered no matter which way the wind blows, or at what temperature. Neat, eh? Also, isn't it frugal of this "reporter" to tie two different things into one news story? By piggybacking the holy grail of the environmentalist movement, global warming/climate change, onto a tragic occurrence, the environmentalist message gets more exposure.
One other thing: the Indian government should be able to afford to help its people, with all of the programming jobs and 1-800 help number jobs that have gone there from the US, their tax base must have risen in recent years, giving them more capital to work with for such contingencies.
Millions displaced by cyclone in India, Bangladesh
By Sujoy Dhar Sujoy Dhar
KOLKATA, India (Reuters) – Cyclone Aila has displaced millions of people in India and Bangladesh, only a fraction of whom have access to food and drinking water, officials said on Wednesday.
The cyclone has killed at least 210 people in the flood-prone region, though officials said the death toll could rise, and rescuers have struggled to reach millions still marooned.
Cyclone Aila hit parts of coastal Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday, triggering tidal surges and floods.
Officials say more than one million people have been displaced in India's Sundarban islands in West Bengal state alone, one of the world's biggest tiger reserves and which is already threatened by global warming.
Heavy rain triggered by the storm raised river levels and burst mud embankments in the Sundarbans delta, destroying hundreds of thousands of houses and causing widespread flooding in the eastern state, and triggered landslides.
Global warming experts say rising sea levels have seen the fragile Sundarbans lose 28 percent of its habitat in the last 40 years.
Nearly 2.3 million people have been displaced and tens of thousands have moved to government shelters in West Bengal, the aid agency Save the Children told AlertNet.
As water levels slowly recede, hundreds of thousands of families who sought refuge in shelters, schools and other buildings are now returning to find their homes either washed away or submerged in water. [Man, that's some crackerjack reporting! What else would one expect from a flood, clean floors and windows?]