When Are Recurring Natural Disasters Old News?
I’m curious, how many hits would a news release on the latest Indonesian tsunami disaster receive in comparison to a gossip site spilling the latest details on the Paris Hilton-Lindsay Lohan feud? Sadly, I think that question is easily answered.
After the 2004 tsunami event the world was paralyzed, heartbroken. Millions of aid dollars flowed in and the average individual literally picked-up and went to offer their help; nurses, midwives, architects, peace workers, child psychologists, animal rescuers, etc. Selfless acts of heroism.
On July 17, 2006, a second tsunami devastated the island of Java, Indonesia. This follows the May Yogjakarta earthquake and the continuing threat of eruption by Mt. Merapi which has rained ash over all the villages surrounding the volcano. All this, occurring in an already deprived country. Indonesia is one of the poorest, most corrupt countries in the world that at this point has very little chance at prospering.
Why is the world no longer interested?
Once a country is struck by four natural disasters in less than 2 years, is its miserable condition no longer newsworthy? I just did a quick Google search and 1) the last article written about the July 17th tsunami was on July 18th, and 2) media interest today circulates around Chevron finding oil in North Sumatra.
I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day who owns a guesthouse in North Sumatra. Her once jovial optimism has vanished. A dark cloud hung over our conversation which was filled with tears about her uncertain future and her safety.
IFAW has committed to work with the local Indonesian group CARE (Center for Animals Rehabilitation and Education) to provide relief to pets and wildlife that are roaming affected areas of Indonesia hungry and deprived.
As I translate daily reports from the field, the stories shed a bit of light amongst this sadness: Owners reunited with their pets, people speaking out against the mass slaughter of animals due to disease threats, and even prisoners finding comfort in rehabilitating injured livestock.