Unser Leitartikel:
Insel der Geretteten

Wissenschaftler hatten davor gewarnt, daß die Karibik und die Südstaaten der USA ab Mitte August von gewaltigen Stürmen heimgesucht würden. Und die Experten hatten auch erklärt, der menschengemachte Klimawandel führe zu höheren Wassertemperaturen und stärkerem Seegang.

»Irma«, ein Hurrikan der höchsten Kategorie 5, richtete vor allem auf kleinen Karibikinseln desaströse Zerstörungen an, die mehrheitlich Kolonien oder ehemalige Kolonien der USA, Großbritanniens, Frankreichs und der Niederlande sind. Auf der von rund 78.000 Menschen bewohnten und zwischen Frankreich und den Niederlanden aufgeteilten Insel St. Martin wurden mindestens elf Tote gemeldet. Auf niederländischer Seite sollen rund 75 Prozent der Gebäude und Infrastrukturen, auf französischer Seite sogar 95 Prozent beschädigt oder gänzlich zerstört worden sein.

Am 9. September ließen State Department und Pentagon mehr als 1.200 US-amerikanische Touristen von Sint Maarten, dem niederländischen Inselteil, evakuieren, während man die Einheimischen sich selbst überließ. Die Regierungen in Paris und Den Haag, die sich vor dem zerstörerischen Durchzug von »Irma« nicht im Geringsten für die Bewohner ihrer sogenannten Überseegebiete interessiert haben und nichts taten, um die Menschen auf den Hurrikan vorzubereiten, schickten zuerst schwerbewaffnete Polizisten und Soldaten, um das Privateigentum zu schützen. Während es kaum Berichte darüber gibt, in welch schwieriger Situation sich die Bewohner von St. Martin nun befinden, gibt es unzählige Berichte über »Plünderungen« – von sauberem Trinkwasser und Nahrungsmitteln.

Die 1898 von Spanien übernommene USA-Kolonie Puerto Rico wurde von Hurrikan »Irma« zwar nur gestreift, dennoch gab es dort drei Tote und rund 70 Prozent der Haushalte im »Außengebiet« der USA wurden in Dunkelheit getaucht. Der südöstlich von Puerto Rico gelegene kleine Inselstaat Antigua und Barbuda, der 1981 »unabhängig« von der britischen Kolonialmacht wurde, aber bis heute zum Commonwealth gehört, wurde von dem Wirbelsturm buchstäblich dem Erdboden gleichgemacht.

Auch auf Kuba hat der seit 1932 erste Hurrikan der höchsten Kategorie 5, der die sozialistische Insel getroffen hat, zehn Menschenleben gefordert, das Zentrum von Havanna überflutet, das Verkehrswesen lahmgelegt und stellenweise die Stromversorgung unterbrochen. Davon war in westlichen Großmedien zu lesen, nicht aber davon, daß Zivilschutz, Armee und Massenorganisationen mehr als eine Million Kubaner rechtzeitig aus den Gefahrengebieten evakuiert haben, und es fertigbrachten, ein Zehntel der Bevölkerung mit Trinkwasser, Lebensmitteln und anderen Gütern des täglichen Bedarfs zu versorgen.

Lediglich die »Basler Zeitung« stellte dieser Tage bewundernd fest, daß die Gefahr, in Kuba durch die Verwüstungen eines Sturms zu sterben niedriger sei als im USA-Bundesstaat Florida: Kuba sei »die Insel der Geretteten«, schrieb das Schweizer Blatt. Derweil berichtete der britische »Guardian« aus Florida, dort lieferten sich bewaffnete Plünderer Schießereien mit Polizisten. Lokale Polizeibeamte befürchteten als Folge des Sturms gar eine »humanitäre Katastrophe« auf der Inselgruppe Florida Keys.

So lehrt uns Hurrikan »Irma« nicht nur, daß der vom Menschen verursachte Klimawandel Zahl und Häufigkeit von Naturkatastrophen nach oben schnellen läßt, sondern auch, daß Katastrophenschutz eine Klassenfrage ist.

Oliver Wagner

Oliver Wagner : Mittwoch 13. September 2017

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