danalwyn: (Default)
If you've got some goodwill to spare today, Tropical Storm Emily is hovering within 100 kilometers of Port-au-Prince, Haiti right now, a city where over 600,000 people are still living in tents. Currently it looks like the heart of the storm will pass slightly west of the main city, but even so a possibly devastating near miss is about to hit one of the world's largest populations of internally displaced homeless people. Wish them luck - it's too late now for anything else.
danalwyn: (Default)
Some good news from the morning round-up. Several web sites, including BBC, are reporting that, damage to the port aside, a freighter ship has finally managed to dock at Port-au-Prince. It's unclear how fast they can unload her cargo of bananas, but if they can get her up to the dock they can find enough hands to unload her one container at a time if necessary.

So far the relief effort has been going almost entirely through the airport, which has been so busy that they've had to put a stop order on it for non-registered flights. For reference, the largest US transport planes in common usage, the C-17s, with no passenger cargo, can carry 77.5 metric tonnes. A heavy Panamax freighter can carry up to 50,000 tonnes, and the largest freighters carry over 100,000. This could make up the difference between the 180 tons that the BBC is reporting having landed so far, and the 5-10,000 tons per day that Haiti probably needs. Every jetty they open will be more lives saved in the coming weeks, and if they've already managed to tie one ship to the docks, they're way ahead of where the pessimists thought we would be.

We'll know more about getting supplies to land once the amphibious ships are in place. They have the well decks, the helicopters, the landing craft, and the vehicles to get supplies ashore, so we're basically waiting for them and hoping.
danalwyn: (Default)
Earlier I linked to a David Brooks column in the NYTimes of Jan 15, 2010 as a direct part of this post. However, it's been pointed out to me that even though we start at the same point, his final conclusions are sufficiently objectionable that attempting to relate the two arguments causes confusion. To that end, I have removed the reference, since it is irrelevant to the final post I made. I am leaving the rest of the post as-is to preserve the original source of the argument, although I am putting it under an LJ-cut since this is getting long. I should repeat that this affray was entirely my fault for not making myself clear.

To preserve your friends-page )


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