Your e-mails: Hurricane Katrina
Anthony Baumann took this picture of Katrina relief efforts at the University of Georgia in Athens.
CNN.com asked readers to share their thoughts about Hurricane Katrina. Here is a sampling from the responses, some of which have been edited:
I lived through the earthquake of 7 March 1985. I know what a disaster is. But you, the North American people and foreigners residing there, have really suffered and know the real meaning of the word suffer. From far and with all my heart, I wish you all peace, strength, patience and love for those of who have lost loved ones. I would like you to know that our thoughts are with you and personally I feel a certain impotence for not being able to help. I pray for you all every moment I can.
Me and my whole family feel deeply sorry about what has happened to the people and city of New Orleans. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them every day from the beginning. It is hard to help here from Croatia, but I share sorrow with people from the U.S.A.
In the 1950s the Netherlands were hit like Katrina's area now. People then rebuilt the area, because it was their home. It was just after World War II, so the strike was twice as hard. So many people unemployed in your disaster area. How come people are talking about employment elsewhere? This is a major opportunity for the people in this region to rebuild, and make lives better, as before. Rebuilding a new economy that improves life's standards.
As a Canadian, I have been stunned to see the cruelty and inhumane treatment with which some Americans treat their animals during times of crisis. There are tens of thousands of animals who are suffering in the South, particularly in New Orleans. The animal lovers of this country and the world need you to speak for them. People need to: Demand that people evacuating their homes be allowed to take their pets. Demand that the dogs and cats, and other animals receive rescue assistance. Demand that rescue organization be allowed into the hurricane ravaged areas.
I am from Indonesia where the tsunami destroyed most of Acehnese in Sumatra last December. This was a natural disaster that we could not avoid. However, the disaster of New Orleans was preventable. Just read the National Geographic article written in 2004 describing the problem... I am astonished to learn that this problem was described so accurately but nothing was done. Shame on the U.S. for not taking care of this problem. Now you are paying for this in the thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. I sympathize with those who are suffering and hope they can recover very soon.
Hello guys. We're organizing for this weekend a paragliding tandem rally. All the money we collect will be donated to the Red Cross.
A tragic irony dawned on me while watching the great displacement of the Katrina victims. Exactly 250 years ago, the Acadians were expelled from Acadia and many migrated to Louisiana to become the "Cajuns." It was called "Le grand derangement," the great displacement. Now, it seems this is happening all over again, for different reasons. However, they are being displaced again.
My son with the Dutch navy Hr. Ms. van Amstel is near Biloxi to help the U.S. Navy with everything possible. He's just married and glad to help the U.S. people instead of going home as first expected this week.
Why is pumping the contaminated water into the lake and Gulf Coast allowed? We will be living with the consequences in the food chain for years to come!
In France, everyone has been appalled by what has been going on in the aftermath of Katrina. French opposition to Bush is well-known but this doesn't mean that our hearts don't go to the people currently suffering. Even more so because La Nouvelle Orleans is so loved here for her French heritage and jazz music. In fact, a lot of jazz musicians in France ... are organizing special concerts to raise money for the victims. But what really surprises everyone here is that abroad, America usually projects a picture of efficiency and competence when it comes to disastrous situations. Now, we all wonder if it's just propaganda. So many local and federal agencies let people down, it's truly scary... On the other hand, I do believe New Orleans will survive. I visited twice and hope to come back again. I am convinced the city will rise from its ashes, with or without help from the government.
I could not understand why New Orleans mayor was so upset with the delay in rescue efforts. Why blame others? As mayor what did he do before the storm hit his city? Did he run away to safety, first leaving the poor citizens of New Orleans behind? Did he ever read the disaster scenario published in 2004 in the New Orleans Times-Picayune? I have heard of passing the buck, but this takes the cake. Also Gov. Blanco of Louisiana has to take the blame for total lack of planning instead of giving the cold shoulder to President Bush. Does the President of the country have to take care of everything? Then what are the governors and mayors for?
I could not believe that America, who is able to rescue its solders and citizens all over the world within a few days, was unable to help those people -- they seemed to be abandoned. It was horrible to watch the videos you've provided and I wish, I could give more than sympathy to their families and friends. I think one thing stood out: No matter whether anyone on this planet likes the present politics of the U.S. president, humanity and sympathy -- the intense desire to be able to help -- overcomes everything. All men should be able to live in dignity or, at least, to be buried that way.
I have been following current events on CNN, the Web and German media. I simply can't understand this dramatic failure of U.S. disaster management! I know that we usually don't have natural disasters of such extent over here. But we recently had significant floods in Austria, Switzerland and parts of Bavaria, which were handled -- even if not perfectly -- in a very concentrated, rapid and efficient manner. I am stunned by the monstrous wreckage, but even more by the situation people still have to endure due to the failure in bringing quick help... I am deeply grieved seeing so many people dying or already dead, being aware of so many people having lost all they had.
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