Saturday, December 27, 2003

Cause for alarm

45 hours have passed and I begin to get worried. Thousands have been evacuated. The Iranians have rushed en masse to offer blood, money and supplies. Continuous reports of the International Aid pouring in. Field hospitals being set up, condolences galore….you get the picture.

What do you want me to say? The usual platitudes? That I am proud to be an Iranian? Proud to be a homo- sapient? This is what we do. This is what humanity is all about. We come together during times of crisis—offering hope, prayer and material support. Strictly speaking, this is nothing to be proud of. This is all as it should be.

What worries me is what I don’t see. I don’t see indications of an organized effort in the city of Bam. I don’t get a sense that there is a half decent distribution network to provide the supplies to the victims. I don’t see those sitting around the rubble weeping and mourning –the countless dazed and bruised victims of this quake, having portable heaters, blankets or water.

I don’t see pictures of myriad giant ugly machines removing tons and tons of rubble to rescue those buried. I don’t see hundreds digging to get at the victims everywhere you look. There is a sense of inactivity. I don’t see powerful sources of light brightening the night so work can continue overnight. I don’t get a sense this is as organized as it should be. And now the report from a Major in the police force. The road is so congested that it is now partially closed—at least for the last 8 kilometers leading to Bam. A fiasco in progress? Only time will tell.

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