Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 2/4

June 25, 2011

In this post, we will visit the recovery of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina.

In March 2009, Planetizen reported that Citizen Recovery Efforts Hit Government Barriers in New Orleans.  It was a traumatic story about two New York architects wanting to do something to help the recovery that ran into a wall of dysfunctional government.

Roberta Brandes Gratz wrote, “When architects Anne Van Ingen and Wes Haynes set out to aid the New Orleans recovery effort by restoring a home in the Ninth Ward for low income buyers, they thought their work would be welcomed. But bureaucratic interference and misguided policies have turned a good deed into a nightmare.”

China earthquake response, faster than US Katrina response

On August 29, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, News reported, “President Barak Obama acknowledged that recovery has been slow. He vowed to see that turf wars and red tape didn’t hamper recovery, and the 5th anniversary of the storm offers a measuring stick.

“New Orleans appears to be returning to its old self, but throughout the region, boarded-up houses, overgrown vacant lots, homelessness and a lack of essential infrastructure tell a story of continuing impediments to recovery.”

This link to the Documenting Disaster timeline provides a glimpse of the pace of reconstruction and challenges that New Orleans has faced since the hurricane hit New Orleans on August 25, 2005.

There is a “+” or “-” bar on the left of the screen that allows you to move the timeline from when the hurricane hit to when the only movie theater reopened in Chalmette on July 29, 2010.

Then on March 30, 2011, The Northerner, The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University (NKU) published a piece by Jill Liebisch about Kelsey Robinson and Stephanie Mathena and how they assembled a group of eight NKU students to travel to New Orleans to film a documentary and aid in various rebuilding efforts.

Their conclusion, “There is still a lot of work to do in New Orleans.”

Continued on June 26, 2011 in Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature – Part 3 or return to Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

Man-Made Disasters

August 26, 2010

Global Voices Online writes about man-made disasters, and I couldn’t help myself. I had to leave a comment.

While reading the post at Global Voices Online, I was reminded of the floods in China and the recent earthquake there.

Xinhua reports that China mourns mudslide victims as relief operation continues.  The piece said, “At least 1,248 people have died and 496 are listed as missing.

I read in the Guardian (April 14, 2010), that a 7.1 quake hit Yushu county in north-west province of Qinghai killing at last 400 and injuring 10,000.

When my sister and her children joined me on Mt. Rainier more than a decade ago, I learned that more than two million people lived below this active volcano, which is overdue for an eruption.

Mt. Rainer overlooks the city of Seattle in the United States.

According to experts, if Mt. Rainier blows, the wall of mud and trees that would rush toward the ocean would be 700 feet high and reach the ocean in less than half-an-hour. 

Meanwhile, homes are still being built along that path of future destruction, and there is no way to to protect those homes and people who live there.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the flooding was caused by man.  People built houses on land that has been sinking for decades. The government built walls to keep the water out but the walls weren’t strong enough.  More than 1,800 people died from that hurricane. In New Orleans, 80% of the city was flooded, and over 700 bodies were recovered there.

Why do people build in harm’s way?

See The WHO’s War on Tobacco, about another man-made disaster.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China