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> EARTHQUAKE RESCUE
> It is said that insanity is evident when the same behavior is repeatedly
> performed with the expectation of differing results. By that standard our
> earthquake rescue efforts are insane. The same script has been repeated in
> Japan, Mexico City, Iran, etc., and now in Turkey. Where next?
> The reports today, 19 July 1999, from Turkey tell us that about 3500
> died immediately, and that about 10,000 are now dying in the rubble 3 days
> after the quake. Few can live long in extreme discomfort with no water and
> scanty supply of air. That is the reason that rescue equipment, dogs and
> crews are racing to do their lifesaving work.
> But the race is slowed due to the customary fumbling with the mixture of
> languages. Help has come from 19 countries. The first obstacle was
> the Turkish customs authorities. The second was the inability to
> assign the multinational teams to specific locations, because that
> good communication with them. Thirdly, on-site activity is confused
> the teams can't talk to each other as they move from spot to spot. Has
> place already been checked by another crew? Gaps and overlaps in coverage
> certain when inter-group communication is impossible. Fourthly, local
> can't be safely or efficiently employed because the Turkish police and
> can't relay instructions from the well trained rescue crews. Meanwhile
> clock is ticking and victims are dying. Perhaps 8000 will die while our
> rescue teams are replaying the idiot game of language mismatch.
> And it is indeed idiotic, because the solution is both simple and readily
> available. It is to use Esperanto as a common language for earthquake
> Being free of the irregularities found in all ethnic languages, Esperanto
> relatively quickly be learned by earthquake teams in preparation for the
> tremor. Imagine how much better it will be to have a single language of
> communication and control! Instant coordination and reporting! Perhaps
> more might have been saved in this disaster had emergency crews only been
> able to talk with their Turkish counterparts and among themselves.
> Esperanto has been available since 1887. When will we ever learn?
> Kent Jones, Commissioner for Education
> ESPERANTO LEAGUE FOR NORTH AMERICA
> 5048 N. Marine Drive, D6
> Chicago, IL 60640
> Tel: 773/ 271 - 8673
> FAX: 773 / 561-6582
> e - mail: KentJones9