Monday, September 05, 2005

Disaster Blogging, 1666

September 2, 2005 brought us writing such as the following, from Survival of New Orleans:

10:01 am
The City is ON FIRE

Teams Alpha and Bravo finished the medium range recon and there are 3 separate locations on fire. We have pictures coming shortly. During the recon, I spoke to some Federal Marshalls and NOPD. Morale is LOW. Very low. They're not seeing the military presence they say they were promised. I told those guys they can't possibly imagine how much we (the world) appreciate their dedication. I asked what civil rights the citizens have and the US Marshalls looked at me like I just fell off the turnip truck and chuckled. I asked if citizens can have guns for protection and he said if someone thinks he needs a gun, he should have already evacuated. He also said they are setting the city on fire. The NOPD wants to know where "the two active duty brigades" were that he says they were told were supposed to arrive today. When I asked him what he would want to tell the world, he said Everyone keeps talking about the military presence in the city, and then asked me," Do you see any military around here" in dusgust.We reconned our roof also, to get a better view of the city and took... I hesitate to call them "amazing" pictures. My city... it has been punched in the face and is on the canvas being counted out. And yes, that's smoke you see out of the windows. The city is under a haze from the fires. Smoke and ash are floating miles away from the fires.

The events of September 2, 1666 prompted Samuel Pepys to write this:

Everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging into the River or bringing them into lighters that lay off. Poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them, and then running into boats or clambering from one pair of stairs by the water-side to another. And among other things, the poor pigeons I perceive were loath to leave their houses, but hovered about the windows and balconies till they were some of them burned, their wings, and fell down.

Here is the blogging of the full Diary of Samuel Pepys, in chronological order with the dates of his entries matching current dates, but they've only gotten up to 1662.


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