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Community Comment

Wed., Jan. 20, 2010, 4:52 a.m.

Choose your disaster…

Good morning, Netizens...

A 6.1 aftershock has hit Haiti this morning, sending people screaming into the streets and endangering those rescue workers attempting to retrieve the dead and injured from beneath the rubble. At the present, there are no official reports of damage or reports of additional injuries from the region.

Have you ever been in a 6.1 earthquake? Since you're reading this question, you obviously survived. Now imagine you are a rescue worker in Haiti working in the semi-dark perhaps 60-80 feet beneath the rubble attempting to reach a woman who is still alive. Suddenly the aftershock hits. Things begin falling around you in your makeshift tunnel, and you wonder if you will survive to rescue anyone else. A building, already in ruins across the street, disintegrates even further. Somewhere in a park where people are living in squalid tent cities, a baby cries. Disasters atop disasters.

Then we have Big Tajunga Canyon in Los Angeles where the hillsides burned last year. Yesterday they had drenching downpours, which usually preclude mudslides. Today an additional rainfall is predicted, and some sources suggest it could total another 5 inches. Evacuations have been ordered, and it seems only a matter of time before the mudslides cascade down the mountain destroying houses, impacting people's lives.

Incredibly enough, they even had a tornado in Huntington Beach during yesterday's storm.

Here in Spokane, we are so fortunate, and sometimes even during multiple disasters, we fail to see that.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.