Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita Approaches

A day has passed and things are getting somewhat more constrained. Good news for Galveston, bad news for the Beaumont Port Arthur area around Sabine Pass. In an e-mail to a client I observed something the media seemed to have failed to notice - the steering effect that usually turns a Gulf storm track in a clockwise direction. This is often due to the presence of a NE-SW front bearing down on Texas from the northwest. Well, there is one there and it seems to have tweaked the path of Rita just enough to avoid the "unthinkable".

The evacuation of coastal areas has worked well but media frenzy appears to have whipped up panic among many who live in relatively safe areas of west and north Houston. Apparently the media have been showing day old shots of jammed freeways that have long-since cleared.

I used the word "unthinkable" above and of course this is part of the long term problem with coping with natural disasters. Better to ignore the worst case scenario and then blame it as an "act of god". Worse still is the way religious zealots cash in on peoples' misery by taunting them with almost joyful glee that such wrath has been wrought on the American People. And these include writers in quality newspapers like the Guardian and Independent here in the UK.

One other small item - my photo is missing because our website server is down for the duration. May that be the only thing that is down in the days ahead.


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