How Sandy took Pakistan by storm

Published: November 1, 2012
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Hardliners are of the view that hurricanes should strike the sole superpower more frequently so that it could focus more on its own internal issues rather than intervening in the affairs of others. PHOTO: REUTERS

Superstorm Sandy could be the second most damaging natural disaster ever in the US’s history in terms of economic loss. Losses estimated by experts have soared up to $20 billion and another $50 billion will be required to revive economic activity in the worst-hit states.

The reaction of Pakistanis to superstorm Sandy was mixed. Pakistan had been abuzz with text messages describing the hurricane as nature’s revenge on America for disposing Osama bin Laden’s body in the ocean and some stated that it was the result of the film “Innocence of Muslims”. Many took to social media to describe just how much the US deserved all the destruction that was coming their way.

But to their dismay, Sandy, initially a category one hurricane, was later downgraded to a ‘superstorm’. Their dreams of seeing America stripped of its superpower status were shattered.

The US has faced colossal natural disasters in the past. Since 1851, 96 major hurricanes or cyclones have hit the US and Sandy could be ranked as the fifth deadliest in terms of monetary losses and damages. In terms of deaths, Sandy does not fall within the top 30. A hurricane in 1900 devastated Texas causing 8,000 deaths and in 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,200 people.

Hardliners are of the view that hurricanes should strike the sole superpower more frequently so that it could focus more on its own internal issues rather than intervening in the affairs of others. Many of them rejoiced at the destruction this storm caused and even prayed for more.

(The worst storm in the history of America.
This the news that is floating around all over the world.
This is the same place where blasphemous acts offending our Holy Prophet (pbuh) are committed.
Oh Lord, lift the curtains off their ability to understand and safeguard the innocent people who are encountering this storm.)

(The blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) made the sky burst and the sea swell. But Muslims were limited to just sloganeering and cursing. Muslims! Unite against blasphemers and cruel infidels. Otherwise your story won’t even be in the records or history.)

Thankfully, it was observed that many people in Pakistan have a heart and a brain. They were quick to point out that many natural disasters had also taken place in Pakistan so clearly we have also been punished just as much.

Others expressed concern and prayed for the loved ones living in the worst-hit states of New York, Virginia and New Jersey. They expressed their support for all Americans struck by the natural disaster.

Some made frantic calls to the loved ones to express their support. Others called their relatives to find out that their power was out and their cell phone batteries were running out.

According to locals in New York, right before dawn on October 30, a handful of taxis were out on the streets along with an abundance of emergency and police vehicles. Accounts coming in from across the US are worth some concern but the emergency services are responding well.

One must realise that a storm cannot rip the US of its superpower status, which has been earned with centuries of hard work.

Followers of Osama bin Laden live in fool’s paradise.

Let’s not be the sort of people who take pleasure in others’ pain. This too, is against our religion.

Wasif Mahmood

Wasif Mahmood

Senior Associate Producer who works on the Lahore desk at The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.