Extracted from Nexus Magazine
Volume 8, Number 3 (June-July 1999)
The authorities grossly
understated the death toll from hurricane Andrew, the
worst natural disaster in US history, and left thousands
of survivors to die in a zone contaminated by radiation.
This article is based on excerpts
reprinted in The Unopened Files, issues 17 & 18, 2000,
originally published in k.t. Frankovich's book,
Where Heavens Meet (Language of
Souls Publications, Inc., USA).
THE EMERGENCY ALERT THAT CAME TOO LATE
The largest natural disaster ever recorded in the history of the
United States was hurricane Andrew, which struck South Dade County,
Florida, as midnight turned the clock into August 24, 1992. Contrary
to what the American news media broadcast across the United States
and throughout Europe, the first outer wall of the hurricane
unexpectedly slammed into South Dade, packing 214+ mph winds which
quickly escalated to 350+ mph. Most of the 414,151 residents living
in the danger zone were asleep when the outer wall struck. Thousands
of them lost their lives, for no one in South Dade had been
evacuated or even advised to evacuate. Instead, residents had been
repeatedly informed by local news media that South Dade should
expect to experience "50 mph winds".
By 11.00 am the following morning, 8,230 mobile homes along with
9,140 apartments had vanished off the face of the Earth. The
Hiroshima-like horror was beyond catastrophic. Entire families
perished in ways too horrifying to describe. The stench of death had
already begun to saturate miles and miles of the massive
devastation; the hot humid air was reeking with foul, rotting flesh.
How do I know? Because I was in the midst of it all.
Never will I forget the frantic, last-minute "emergency alert"
broadcast that was aired on television just before all hell broke
loose. My son and I had the TV on, hoping to catch an updated report
on the hurricane, when the screen suddenly went blank with a loud
warning signal. Before we knew it, a panic-stricken voice began the
We interrupt this program to bring you an emergency alert from the
National Broadcast Emergency Center. This is an emergency alert! I
repeat, this is an emergency alert! The outer winds of hurricane
Andrew have just reached the Florida coast. Hurricane Andrew has
unexpectedly shifted five degrees south. I repeat, Hurricane Andrew
has shifted five degrees south. Andrew is expected to strike South
Dade within minutes. I repeat, Andrew is expected to strike South
Dade within minutes. All South Dade residents should take immediate
cover! I repeat, all South Dade residents should take immediate
cover! This is an emergency alert!
Our tiny pre-fab apartment, which was nothing more than a glorified
mobile home, had been constructed to withstand maximum wind speeds
of 90 mph. The blood-curdling announcement gripped us both.
Paralyzed by sheer terror, our bulging eyes stayed glued to the
television as the voice continued.
All South Dade residents are advised to stay put! Do not attempt to
leave the area!
Within seconds, we actually heard hurricane Andrew bearing down on
us, slamming into us with all the force of a speeding locomotive.
The horrendous wall of winds crashed against our tiny apartment like
an exploding bomb! Glasses flew off the kitchen counter, shattering
onto the quaking floor. Hanging pictures plunged straight down the
walls towards the ground. The huge hanging mirror crashed on top of
the television set, spraying the living room with shattered glass.
The entire apartment resembled a rickety old train, shaking fiercely
out of control while rumbling down a railroad track. The screeching
winds quickly transformed into the piercing, monotone hum of a jet
engine, sounding as if it had sucked us inside! It was so deafening,
all other noises ceased to exist. It felt like a monstrous
earthquake-and-tornado hitting at the same time!
Before either one of us could react, the metal front door of our
apartment began to peel steadily downward towards the floor, like a
piece of wet, limp paper. Then the voracious jaws of Andrew attacked
for the final kill. A mega-giant, two-storey-tall, solid concrete
transformer pole with electrical cables attached, torpedoed right
through our living room wall and roof, exploding the entire building
on impact! And that was just the beginning.
ATROCITIES IN THE AFTERMATH
There isn't a person on the face of this Earth who will ever
convince me that hurricane Andrew was a "hurricane" by any sense of
the definition. Just ask any survivor of Andrew what the
six-and-a-half-hour siege was like and the answer will always be the
"We didn't have any prior warning. We heard hurricane Andrew
suddenly bearing down on us like a speeding locomotive."
This is the
same description given by survivors of monstrous F-5 tornadoes
(packing winds of 350+ mph)--the only difference being that
tornadoes strike for just seconds, whereas hurricane Andrew struck
and stayed for hours on end.
The injuries of those who survived were mind-boggling. I had a
broken jaw with eight teeth knocked out. Huge shards of glass
impaled my body so deeply, they were impossible to remove without
the aid of a scalpel. My head injuries were so severe that they
permanently affected my eyesight.
But I was only one amongst thousands of severely injured victims who
struggled to survive the aftermath. For ten long days we were roped
off from the outside world by United States military forces, leaving
us stranded with no food, no water, no medical supplies, no shelter.
Suffering from severe shell-shock, we waited and waited for rescue
teams to arrive, but that just never happened. None of the injured
in the roped-off areas was ever rescued from the devastation. It was
the worst gut-wrenching betrayal I have ever experienced. I saw
grown men lying on the ground in the fetal position, moaning and
groaning pathetically as they tried to hug and rock themselves. My
son was amongst them.
Don't get me wrong. United States military forces were indeed
present in the roped-off areas within hours of Andrew ending. But
they were not there to help survivors. The National Guard along with
the Coast Guard, the Army, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management
Agency), Metro Dade Police, state police and local police removed
dead bodies and body parts as quickly as possible during those first
ten days of the aftermath. Horrified survivors watched as both
uniformed and civilian- clothed men searched the rubble and filled
body bags, which they then stacked in military vehicles or huge
refrigerator trucks normally used to transport food, only to drive
off and leave the stranded injured to fend for themselves.
Not until I managed to escape the aftermath did I discover that the
"thermo-king" sections of these same refrigerator trucks, jam-packed
with wall-to-wall body bags, ended up being stored at Card Sound
Navy Base, located in an isolated area just above the Florida Keys.
The inside temperature was kept cool by portable generators until
the bodies were either incinerated or just plain dumped into huge
open grave pits.
Those working on the body pick-up operation were forced to take what
is known as the Oath of Sworn Secrecy, which is strictly enforced by
the government. Many of them plunged into shock, once exposed to the
ghastly devastation and countless mutilated bodies.
The horrors were way beyond human comprehension. I can vouch for
this, as I accidentally stepped on the severed hand of a young child
when I initially crawled out of the debris, only to witness shortly
thereafter two dead teenagers and the decapitated body of a baby
Fighting mental shock became such a big problem for the body pick-up
teams that a special group of psychiatrists had to be brought in to
help them cope with it. I believe this in itself is the reason why
many who worked on the body collection didn't comprehend the tragic
consequences this would inevitably lead to in the future.
The survivors of hurricane Andrew and the rest of the American
people were betrayed by their own government. But the betrayal also
extended to foreign nationals. At the time Andrew struck, South Dade
was inhabited by a large population of Mexican illegal immigrants.
The United States Department of Immigration was fully aware of their
presence but quietly turned its back on the situation, knowing full
well that South Dade farmers couldn't afford to harvest their crops
without the help of the Mexican illegals. The heavily populated
migrant camps were situated at the edge of the Florida Everglades.
The people who lived there vanished without a trace during that
fated night. Many bodies were found way out in the Everglades.
When I lectured at the Clearwater Convention in Florida in 1999, a
man in the audience stood up and introduced himself as Chief Petty
Officer Roy Howard. He proceeded to address the audience with this
exact statement, which is now a matter of public record:
Just for your information, I was called up to active duty after
hurricane Andrew went through South Dade County. I spent nine weeks
down there. Now I will certify for the benefit of our audience here
that the death figures that were officially published are totally
inaccurate. According to the information which I received from my
own sources within the National Guard, the figure I was quoted when
I was down there was 5,280-something. And they were quietly disposed
of in incinerators that were hurriedly put together by both the
National Guard and FEMA...
As the Chief Petty Officer stated, "5,280-something" bodies were
confiscated by the United States National Guard. In addition to
this, the Coast Guard independently confiscated "1,500 bodies" from
the lakes and surrounding waters. Neither one of these figures
embraces the number of dead bodies confiscated by other branches of
federal and state government directly involved in the body pick-up
operation. This leaves the number of dead confiscated by various US
authorities in South Dade still unknown.
The total number who died during hurricane Andrew is obviously
staggering, yet whenever the "official death toll" is mentioned in
the media, a figure of anywhere between 15 and 59 is quoted. The
population of the 21 communities annihilated by Andrew's eye-wall
had been officially recorded by the Dade County Census Bureau as
415,151 before Andrew struck.
Bodies of human beings confiscated and disposed-of like rubbish, as
if their lives had no more worth or meaning than a piece of
discarded litter--it's horrifying to be suddenly confronted by the
same kind of atrocities as perpetrated by the Nazis. Once again
repeating history, a master-minded cover-up was dutifully carried
out by armed military forces, right smack in the midst of horrendous
To complete this historical comparison, in the same way that many
residents who lived near Nazi concentration camps were unaware or in
denial of the atrocities close by, so too were many residents who
were located just outside the catastrophic devastation left behind
by Andrew's eye-wall.
So what actually did take place when Andrew survivors tried to get
help from those collecting dead bodies in the aftermath? Well, I for
one can give a first-hand account.
About the third day into the aftermath, a long line of police cars
cautiously drove into my area during the late afternoon. We had not
had contact with any other people from outside the devastation up
until this point. There were approximately 12 to 15 police cars
comprising this caravan, each marked from different locations
throughout the state. Each car was driven by a man dressed in a dark
police uniform and had three other plain-clothed men riding as
passengers, making a total of four men in each vehicle.
Someone from our group spotted the caravan and ran to get me,
knowing that I had been badly injured and urgently needed emergency
medical help. My twenty-five-year-old son and one other adult male
survivor helped escort me to the caravan. We hurried towards the
lead car. It stopped moving when we approached the driver's side.
The officer sitting behind the wheel rolled down the window. For a
few moments he rudely ignored us, at one point giving us an
impatient look of disgust.
This is the exact conversation and course of events that took place.
"Please, sir, I need medical help," I begged, barely able to speak.
The officer sitting behind the wheel sighed heavily. He turned his
head away from me and gazed out his windshield. The other three men
in the car quietly looked at me.
"Sir, please, I need to get to a hospital...," I begged frantically.
The officer took his time about reaching over to turn off the
engine. With another sigh, he slowly opened the door and climbed
out. He then proceeded to close the door and stood there with his
legs spread astride.
"Lady, do me a favour," he answered. "Find yourself a piece of paper
and a pencil. Write down your name and social security number next
to the telephone number of your nearest living relative. Tuck the
piece of paper in your pocket so tomorrow, when I find your body,
I'll know who to contact."
"No! No!" I cried out. "You don't understand. I need to get to a
hospital. I've been badly injured."
"No! You're the one who doesn't understand," he hissed back.
With that, he reached over to his holster and took out his gun. He
grabbed me, forcing me up against the side of the car, and proceeded
to put the barrel of the gun against my temple. I heard the hammer
From the position he had pushed me into, I could see directly into
the car. The man sitting in the front passenger seat looked away
from me immediately, glancing down at the floor. The two passengers
in the back seat turned their heads quickly, staring out the window
on the opposite side of the car.
My son and the other survivor watched as the officer had pulled back
the hammer on the gun. So shocked out of their minds by what they
were witnessing, neither one could move!
"You don't belong here!" the officer growled, pressing the barrel
into the side of my head. "Now you get the hell outta here before I
blow away your ass!"
He shoved my face into the car window and then released me. Someone
grabbed me from behind and whirled me around so fast, I didn't have
time to think! Before I knew it, I was being thrown over a shoulder.
My rescuer took off running as fast as he could! I caught a brief
glimpse of my son running next to me. With one gigantic leap, he and
the survivor who carried me, dove behind a pile of debris. All three
of us crashed on top of each other in one tangled-up heap.
"I'll shoot your damn asses!" the officer's voice rang out.
When hurricane Andrew slammed into South Dade, the State Attorney of
Florida was none other than Janet Reno. Her office was located at
the Dade County Court House in the City of Miami. The President of
the United States was President George H.W. Bush, and the
Vice-President was Dan Quayle. Bill Clinton was running for
President, and Al Gore for Vice-President. Senator Bob Graham held
office, and the late Lawton Chiles was Governor of Florida. His
successor turned out to be Jeb Bush, still the Governor of Florida
and, ironically enough, the son of former President Bush whose other
George W. Bush, the then Governor of Texas, has since become
the "self-selected" President of the United States...
Curious how the United States Government evacuated Homestead Air
Force Base just before hurricane Andrew struck, yet never released
the information to the civilians of South Dade.
"This is worse than anything we saw in Saudi," said Master Sgt
Lester Richardson (who had spent six months in the Middle East
during Operation Desert Storm) one week into the aftermath. "These
people need a miracle"
The survivors did need "a miracle", but what we got instead didn't
resemble anything near it.
While we remained roped off from the outside world by
Police and the military, the news media reported grossly understated
information from the first day onward.
On August 24, 1992, the morning hurricane Andrew ended, the Miami
Herald broke with:
Andrew Hits Hardest in South Dade. Five thousand people were left
homeless by the storm, Metro Dade Police Director announced. They'll
be moved into shelters in North Dade.
Over subsequent days, the Miami Herald read as follows:
August 25, 1992:
Destruction at Dawn. Among worst hit in the Country Walk area of
South Dade, few homes escaped at least minor damage and many were
utterly destroyed. 10 killed in Dade.
August 27, 1992:
The Toll Rises. 22 dead as the search continues. 63,000 homes
destroyed. 175,000 homeless. 1 million without power.
August 28, 1992:
WE NEED HELP. Relief effort collapsing due to United States
inaction, Metro charges. Aid us now or more will die, Feds told. As
Dade County's hurricane relief effort neared collapse Thursday, more
than 1,500 airborne US soldiers were ordered into the county to cope
with what is now being called the worst natural disaster in United
States history. The move came after a day of bitter sniping among
agencies that share responsibility for the relief effort.
United States aid official Wallace Stickler stated:
caused more destruction and affected more people than any disaster
America has ever had."
Dade County's Emergency Director pleaded for federal help, one angry
voice among many that spoke in dire terms of needs unmet. Frustrated
to the point of tears, Kate Hale said that the relief project was on
the brink of collapse, a victim of incompetence and political games:
"Where the hell is the cavalry on this one? We need food! We need
water! We need people! If we do not get more food into the south end
[South Dade] in a very short period of time, we are going to have
"We have a catastrophic disaster. We are hours away from more
casualties. We are essentially the walking wounded. We have appealed
through the State to the Federal Government. We've had a lot of
people down here for press conferences. But Dade County is on its
own. Dade County is being caught in the middle of something and we
are being victimized.
"Quit playing like a bunch of kids and get us aid! Sort out your
political games afterward!"
On the same day Hale made the desperate plea,
Miami Herald staff
writers Martin Merzer and Tom Fiedler wrote:
The question echoed through the debris Thursday: If we can do it for
Bangladesh, for the Philippines, for the Kurds of northern Iraq, why
in God's name can't we deliver basic necessities of life to the
ravaged population of our own Gold Coast?"
The short answer: because no single person or agency is in charge.
The result: a planeload of food and equipment is still a rarity.
Instead of delivering goods, helicopter pilots shuttle government
officials who just sit idle. Metro police turn away individuals
trying to bring in food or water to a barren South Dade.
On August 29, 1992, six days into the aftermath, the Miami Herald
Problems Plague Red Cross.
The man on the phone wanted to donate 100
electric generators, extension cords and enough tools to build a
small subdivision. But the operator who took his call at the Red
Cross Command Center in Miami had no idea what to do with the offer.
"We get a call, we take a message, we give it to somebody who signs
it to somebody else," said the operator, Melitta de Liefd.
no idea what happens to it. The whole place is being run by senior
citizens and college kids."
Welcome to Red Cross headquarters--where the brains of Dade County
rescue effort have been knocked almost unconscious most of the week.
Callers offering services and supplies are put on hold. Others can't
get through at all. The hurt and suffering plead for help over ham
On August 29, 1992, one week after hurricane Andrew struck, the Fort
Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported 250,000 people homeless in South
A NUCLEAR INCIDENT
Of course, the rather "insignificant" incident resulting from
Andrew's winds bombarding the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant was
not aired by the news media either nationally or abroad.
Tom Dubocq reported in the Miami Herald of September 5, 1992:
Demolition crews toppled a 400-foot smokestack at Turkey Point
[Nuclear] Power Plant [owned by Florida Power and Light Company],
Friday [September 4]. The stack, which had a gaping 200-foot crack,
was dropped without a hitch, a Florida Power and Light [FPL]
spokesman said. The other smokestack at the plant will be salvaged.
Turkey Point will be shut down for several months while repairs are
made. The cost will exceed $90 million, according to an initial
When Turkey Point was built in the 1960s, its main structures were
designed to withstand 235 mph winds. Hurricane Andrew was clocked at
164 mph at the plant. FPL officials don't know why the smokestack
didn't hold up...
One hundred million dollars worth of damage resulted from the
nuclear power plant's smokestack having been cracked wide open. The
plant is situated approximately 15 miles northeast of where I lived.
How well I recall the leaflets circulated several months before
Andrew struck, advising all residents within a "thirty-five mile
radius" of Turkey Point nuclear plant to be aware of the potential
hazards involved if an event such as a natural disaster or
unexpected catastrophe happened. Such a grim reminder of the
Could it be more than coincidence that within 24 hours of hurricane
Andrew ending, all 12 survivors in my little group, including our
animals, broke out in big, raw, oozing sores which itched and burned
at the same time? We suffered horrible headaches which made us so
nauseous we had the dry heaves, and our stomachs cramped badly from
sudden onsets of diarrhea. These symptoms lasted well over three
months. Within a relatively short period of time, each one of our
surviving animals died from cancer.
HURRICANE BUREAU'S FAILURE TO WARN
Speaking of coincidence, I often wonder what kind of a coincidence
it is that the National Hurricane Bureau is responsible for
reporting to the US Department of Commerce--especially considering
that during 1992 South Florida did $31 billion worth of trade in
Hurricane Andrew had barely left Florida, heading for Louisiana,
when the Division of Tourism placed a $47,000 advertisement in USA
Today, reading "Florida, we're still open".
"Most people have very short memories. We're all sort of banking on
that," said Donal Dermody, Director of the Nova University Center
for Hospitality Management.
Kind of puts a big damper on belief in the human race:
truth, ignore the suffering, do it for a dollar!
What upsets me most is the incident that happened during the late
afternoon hours just prior to Andrew striking. I had just walked out
to the garbage dumpsters, located by the parking lot, to throw away
some garbage. I turned to head back to the apartment when the horn
of an oncoming car began blasting away. I looked up to see a
familiar resident, whom I had spoken to on many different occasions,
heading directly towards me. This particular individual worked at
Metrozoo. Being affiliated with wild animals, he frequently stopped
by to ask me questions about the behavior of certain species. He
sped right up to me and then slammed on the brakes.
"Come here!" he whispered excitedly.
I leaned down close to him. "What's the matter?"
"Listen!" he paused to look around nervously. "You've got to get the
hell outta here now!"
"Why?" I asked, puzzled by his behaviour.
"I haven't got time to explain," he whispered. "But I just came from
the National Hurricane Bureau in the Gables. Gotta friend of mine
who works over there; bigwig--know what I mean?"
"Yeah..." I nodded.
"Well, this isn't for public information, if you get my drift," he
went on rapidly. "But the National Hurricane Bureau has known all
along that hurricane Andrew is going to slam into South Dade!
They're telling the public it's going to come in at Palm Beach
because they want Miami Beach evacuated, and there aren't enough
shelters for South Dade residents to evacuate to. They don't wanna
cause panic. So they're keeping quiet. We're all a bunch of god-damn
sitting ducks! You got to get the hell outta here! This is a killer
hurricane! Nobody's ever seen anything like this before!"
"Holy shit!" I exclaimed, shocked out of my mind. "You mean Andrew's
coming over South Dade?"
"Damn straight! That's exactly what I mean! They figure the eye of
the storm is coming right in over us! Those fellas at the National
Hurricane Bureau have known it all along! I'm gettin' the hell outta
here now! Shit, man, this thing is a killer hurricane! Listen, I
gotta run! Get your son and get the hell out now! You ain't gonna
have a shot in hell once it hits!"
I ran into the apartment and called my son at work, begging him to
come home so we could get out. I had no reason to disbelieve
anything I had just heard. I knew my neighbour well enough to know
he wouldn't fabricate anything like this. So I related the entire
conversation to my son, Eric. He was stunned! Eric said he would
leave work within a few minutes, but as the minutes ticked on they
dragged into hours.
Another immediate course of action I took after hearing the
terrifying warning from my neighbour was to phone the local CBS
television station located in Miami. I called three separate times.
Each time, my call went directly into the local news broadcast room
of meteorologist Bryan Norcross. Although I never spoke to Norcross
directly, I did manage to speak to three separate individuals
working in the broadcast room.
I specifically stated:
"I live in South Dade, adjacent to Metrozoo
and within walking distance of Country Walk, in a pre-fab apartment
that is constructed to withstand up to 90 mph winds. Should I
All three individuals advised and reassured me that I was situated
in a safe area. There definitely wasn't need for me to take any
Meanwhile, one work catastrophe after another seemed to crash down
on my son, until finally it was just too late for us to evacuate. By
the time he got home it was almost midnight. Within minutes of his
arrival, Andrew slammed into us with full force.
ONGOING TRAGEDIES FROM THE COVER-UPS
It's not easy dealing with the anguish I feel because of all the
perpetrated lies. So much suffering resulted. It took
three-and-a-half weeks before my son and I managed to escape the
devastation on our own. Homeless and penniless, with no insurance to
cover our losses, we slowly made our way north towards Broward
County, our only possessions being the clothes on our backs and a
demolished van. The long, agonizing journey turned out to be another
nightmare from hell.
Over 4,000 people were officially listed as "Missing" in Andrew when
we parted South Dade. I had lost 23 pounds during those wretched
weeks of being trapped in the devastation and still had not received
any medical attention. Little did I realize it would take another
three weeks before a doctor would even agree to see me without any
money or identification. By then, six weeks had passed since I had
been injured. Most of my teeth had turned a putrid grey colour
because the nerves had died as a result of fierce blows to my head,
complicated by my broken jaw. The final heartbreak came when doctors
discovered the optic nerve in both my eyes had begun to die
off--which meant, because of the head injuries, I was going blind.
This may sound strange but, regardless, it is the truth. Today, in
the year 2001, there still remain three ongoing tragedies created by
hurricane Andrew cover-ups--tragedies which remain unbearable for
the survivors to live with.
The first tragedy is the horrifying fact that the bodies of our
loved ones were intentionally confiscated from us by our own
government and then so inhumanely disposed of. Without graves, or
some kind of memorial erected in their memory, we have no hope of
The second tragedy is the impact the cover-ups had in downplaying,
dismissing and ignoring our horrendous suffering.
And the third tragedy is the great number of Andrew survivors who
were inevitably forced to join the ranks of approximately 10 million
other homeless Americans struggling to stay alive on the streets.
With 10 million Americans homeless, and another 32 million Americans
going to sleep hungry each night, the United States Government can't
truthfully claim to be a government for all the people.
Maybe it's just me, but I honestly thought the world learned a
lesson from the Nuremberg trials in Germany: "Evil can only be
defined as absence of empathy..."
SIMILARITIES IN TURKEY
On June 20, 2000, I flew to Istanbul, Turkey, where I lectured at a
major international conference. While visiting there, I was asked if
there was anything I specifically wished to do or see. My simple
answer came very naturally.
"Yes, I would like to visit the areas that were devastated by the
earthquakes last August and November and spend time with the
The following day my simple wish was granted. I was graciously
escorted by a medical doctor who had unselfishly devoted many hours
of practice in the devastated regions. When he informed me that
20,000+ died in August 1999 during the Izmit earthquake and that
another 20,000+ died in November during the Bolu earthquake, I was
stunned. This was not what the news media had reported.
"Are you saying that between the two earthquakes last year, over
40,000 people died?" I asked.
His eyes filled with tears. "Yes," he nodded sadly. "Over 40,000
people perished, between the two disasters."
The horrendous destruction I saw matched every word he stated. I
walked over areas where the earth had opened up, swallowing entire
buildings before closing back up again, like a giant white shark
gulping down its prey. I understood when weeping survivors squeezed
my hand tightly, too overcome by grief to explain how they never
found the bodies of their loved ones. Long pauses of silence took
over when tears replaced words.
The poverty I witnessed was too startling to escape my poorly
sighted eyes. Pathetic cardboard-type huts, covered by plastic
sheets, greeted me everywhere I went. Then there were the bleak rows
of government-funded temporary housing which lacked simple basic
needs like indoor private showers.
I often wonder, now that I've returned back home, how those Turkish
survivors weathered the 115° temperatures of July, since their
temporary housing lacked proper insulation and air-conditioning. As
the month of August began to unfold, torrential rains bombarded the
country, bringing a new kind of disaster: flash flooding. How many
lives were lost to this disaster?
The most pathetic survivors of all are children. Like many of the
children who survived hurricane Andrew, many Turkish children whom I
saw who could no longer smile or play. Shell-shock has very
pronounced effects on the young; often, they stop communicating
One little girl in particular caught my attention. Her arm had been
badly injured, twisted into a permanent position of deformity. She
stood very still, holding her hair in her good hand, never moving or
showing any signs of emotion.
"She needs medical attention," I said to the doctor.
"Yes," he agreed, "a lot of the young survivors desperately need
His answer puzzled me. "But I thought financial aid was donated from
"Yes," he nodded, "but most of the money ended up in the pockets of
government officials. It never reached the survivors."
How well I knew what that meant. How well indeed.
After pausing, he added, "When the earthquakes struck, one foreign
country offered to construct a hospital at the devastated site. But
because of political differences, our government refused the offer."
I left the Turkish people, wondering: what kind of future is man
creating for himself? Only one thought came to mind:
"Evil can only be defined as absence