Archive for September 7th, 2008

September 7, 2008

Guess who doesn’t like Ike?


Hurricane tracker that I am this is an exciting season for me as I take in all the disturbances sweeping across our region. Sometimes, though, my intellectual fascination with hurricanes leads me to forget that they are a terrible destructive force. Today Haiti discovered close to another 500 bodies drowned by the passing of Hanna ( according to AFP) and now we are looking at the full force of Ike about to be unleashed on the Northern Caribbean.

The US National Hurricane Center has just released their 11pm update and it seems that the Turks and Caicos islands are about to feel the full brunt of Category 4 Ike – complete with winds in excess of 200 kmph. My Northern friends, unused to the scale of the Caribbean might be forgiven for not realizing how horrifying such a storm is for the tiny territories in our region. The islands that make up Turks and Caicos are home to 30,000 people and the highest point on the islands is 49m. That means they are basically at the mercy of hurricanes. I can only imagine what they are going through right now. The other day we had unusually heavy rains in T&T and the main highway was under 2 metres of water and many people lost all their possessions. With our larger landmass we might fare better in a hurricane but heaven help us if it does since we were thrown into chaos with a few cms of rain.


I don;t know too much about the Turks and Caicos except for the fact  one of my friends who worked there for a few months fled lest he go out of his mind. I also remember being in Toronto and reading  some nonsense about a gay cruise causing a national scandal there. The quote from the illustrious Chief Minister at the time says a lot about the level of thinking that goes on there:


Whilst as a government we respect civil liberties, the freedom of choice and we do refrain from discriminating, we are in no way supportive of or encourage the alternative lifestyle of these individuals. We regret that our people and especially our children have been exposed to this type of activity and express concern in this regard.”


The frightening thing was that the Chief Minister was actually sounding like the voice of reason when compared to the opposition which was saying that the islands were going to suffer the wrath of god as a result of the travesty. For all I know they probably think Ike is an emissary from the other world sent to punish them for their transgressions. I find such things ridiculous in 2008 but the Caribbean is no stranger to stupidity and superstition so I try and take it in stride. I still hope that they are spared a complete catastrophe but I guess I will find out tomorrow when I get to the newsroom.


Speaking of news while working today Melissa passed me a news release  faxed to us which was causing her much mirth. Upon examination I noted that the release which was sent by an almost moribund political party ( rhymes with FAR) was so riddled with misspellings and bad grammar that it seemed to have been typed by a primary school student with a muscle twitch. I examined it…red penned it ( about 25 circles) and faxed it back to them….why do people think I have a bitchy side?