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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Rescuers Search for Survivors From South Asian Earthquake
Aired October 11, 2005 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody.
We begin tonight with a major new challenge for survivors in the
earthquake in South Asia. Heavy rains, mudslides, freezing weather now
threatening millions of people. Medical officials are warning of a
possible measles epidemic. Cholera and pneumonia also a major threat.
The death toll in Pakistan and India now estimated to be more than
42,000. The United Nations is appealing for more than $270 million in
aid. The United States is using unmanned aircraft to survey the damage.
Our first report tonight is from Bill Neely in Balakot, which
was one of the worst affected cities. Now a warning, this report
contains graphic images.
NEELY, REPORTER, ITV NEWS (voice over): In the ruins of Balakot's
school, they break through the collapsed floors. But what they bring
out is a sight beyond sadness.
It's a little girl in a green
dress, all broken. She and nearly 200 other boys and girls have already
been pulled out and lifted away. Their bags and books useless now. And
then the work begins again.
And the work has paid off. A
French rescue team using cameras to probe deep down into the schools
saw a face three-and-a-half days after he was trapped in his classroom,
a scared little boy.
He's about 15 feet down. Now it's
critical the roof doesn't collapse. Slowly, astonishingly, the boy's
limp body is pulled from the hole and handed to his father. No one
could quite believe it.
Four other children were rescued
like this. Four-year-old Fraz (ph) was too bewildered to eat or drink.
Out of 400 children, he is one of the very few who survived.
(on camera): The conditions here for rescuing anyone are getting worse.
They think there are still the bodies of 150 children in this school.
The last two little girls they pulled out alive, that was 18 hours ago.
And even that seems amazing.
But the weather is getting much
worse now. (voice over): The rain lashed down on the bodies of children
who had not yet been claimed by their parents. Perhaps because their
parents, too, are gone.
Bill Neely, ITV News, Balakot, Pakistan.
PILGRIM: The United States has launched a major relief effort for
victims of the earthquake. Eight U.S. military helicopters are already
in Pakistan, and dozens more are on the way. Those helicopters are
flying relief supplies to the town of Muzaffrabad, which is the capital
of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Every building in that town was
destroyed or damaged.
Satinder Bindra reports.
SATINDER BINDRA, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over):
They've come from the war in Afghanistan, eight U.S. helicopters here
at Rawalpindi's Chaklala air base near Pakistan's capital to help the
country with its largest-ever relief operation.
Brendon McCray is a 26-year-old Black Hawk pilot from Fort Worth,
Texas. On Tuesday, Captain McCray loads up his Black Hawk and takes off
to a 40-minute flight to one of the worst-affected areas in the
mountains of Kashmir.
CAPT. BRENDON MCCRAY, U.S. ARMY:
However, you know, we can help out, I pray that we can do that and help
these people out tremendously.
BINDRA: When Captain McCray's
helicopter and the others land in the mountain city of Muzaffrabad,
Pakistani soldiers are waiting for them.
(on camera): It's
absolutely critical to get these tents and bags of flour to hundreds of
thousands of survivors in Pakistan's remote areas. Many people there
have been complaining they haven't eaten a proper meal in days, and at
this rate they say they may not be able to hold on for too long.
(voice over): Rias Acon (ph) has broken both his legs. The Americans
will take him back to the Pakistani capital for treatment. His family
will remain here.
"Three of my daughters are injured," he says. "They're in hospital. My wife is also injured."
Many of the wounded are young children. Most were hurt when their schools collapsed on them.
The critical element in these missions is the weather. Many sorties
have had to be canceled because of heavy winds and rain. Rias Acon (ph)
gets out just before the weather turns nasty. "Allah, bless the
Americans," he says. "They've been very kind. I want to thank them for
Less than an hour after we began our journey, it's time
to turn back. A lightning-fast mission that will have to be repeated
for many days and weeks to come.
Satinder Bindra, CNN, Muzaffrabad, Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
PILGRIM: The number of people killed in Indian Kashmir has now risen to
1,300. Nearly 5,000 others were injured. Indian officials say more than
30,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by the quake. Military aircraft
and helicopters have been dropping food, medicine and tents to remote
Well, as the world watches scenes of
devastation in India, Pakistan and Kashmir, U.S. scientists have new
concerns about a massive earthquake hitting right here in this country.
Thirty-eight states across our nation are at risk for an earthquake.
Some parts of the country sit on significant fault lines.
Brian Todd reports.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Images from South Asia
bring sobering caution from experts: don't think this couldn't happen
close to you.
WILLIAM LEITH, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: What we
really want to get across to people is that the hazard is present all
TODD: William Leith and Michael Blanpied are part
of a team of seismologists at the U.S. Geological Survey. They record
earthquakes every day around the world. They say larger quakes like the
one in Pakistan, with a magnitude of 7.6, are rare in the United
But their earthquake hazard maps are an eye-opener,
showing no fewer than 26 U.S. cities where significant seismic activity
has occurred in the past and where it can happen again. Not just in
California, but cities that you might not think of, like Charleston,
South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and nearby Memphis.
MICHAEL BLANPIED, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: Some of these cities such as
Memphis, Tennessee, they actually feel earthquakes on a fairly regular
basis. And people there are very aware that earthquakes are nearby.
TODD: Memphis and Charleston each experienced massive and deadly
earthquakes above 7.0 in the 1800s. The likelihood of it happening
again is high enough that experts at USGS are working with city leaders
in these regions to improve building codes and warning systems.
TODD: But earthquake warnings are still an inexact science.
Seismologists can say where future quakes will likely occur, but they
cannot predict when. And they're telling city leaders, get your
building codes up to date and be ready -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Brian, what are these cities doing to get ready?
TODD: Well, some of the cities we talked about are being proactive in
try to get ready for a possible earthquake. Officials here tell us that
Memphis, Tennessee; Evansville, Indiana; and St. Louis, leaders there
are being proactive. They are retrofitting buildings, beginning to
retrofit bridges and other facilities for a possible earthquake, and
holding constant discussions with officials here at USGS just for all
the different possibilities that may lie ahead.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Brian Todd.
Brian in Reston, Virginia.
Now, California residents know all too well that a major destructive
earthquake could hit their state at any time. New research tonight says
the likelihood of a major quick hitting California is increasing by the
Casey Wian reports.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): San Francisco, April 1906,
a magnitude 7.9 earthquake rips through the bay area. It's felt from
Oregon to central Nevada to Los Angeles. Three thousand people die. San
Francisco's mayor issues a shoot-to-kill order to stop looters.
Newly-published research found there's a good chance another 7- plus
magnitude quake will occur along the northern San Andreas Fault within
the lifetime of most current residents.
JOHN RUNDLE, UNIV.
OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS: Our present simulations indicate that there's
about a one in four chance of a magnitude bigger than 7 event in the
next 20 years, about a one in two chance of such an event in 45 years,
and about a three in four chance of such an event within 75 to 80
WIAN: Rundle's team created this computer simulation
of a thousand years of California quakes using advanced physics and
RUNDLE: The butterfly things that you see are
actually the big earthquakes. And the bigger the butterfly, the bigger
the earthquake. The butterflies are actually what would be observed by
a radar satellite. This kind of technology is available. We know it can
work. And the U.S. is currently trying to put up such a satellite so
that we can do real-time monitoring of these fault zones.
WIAN: That could lead to accurate quake forecasting similar to what's
used to predict weather in the path of hurricanes. For now, though,
seismologists rely mostly on historical patterns, reaching the
conclusion that the southern part of the San Andreas Fault, east of Los
Angeles, is even more overdue for a big quake than San Francisco.
DR. KATE HUTTON, CALIF. INST. OF TECHNOLOGY: All of our aqueducts and a
lot of the power grid, high-pressure gas mains, you know, all that
stuff crosses the San Andreas. And there's going to be a big disruption
in Los Angeles because of that.
WIAN: California has done
much to prepare for the dreaded big one, including implementing strict
building codes to make structures safer. That could help prevent the
massive loss of life suffered during Saturday's South Asia quake.
WIAN: Earthquake forecasting is still in its infancy, but as one
scientist put it, you wouldn't want to live within 20 miles of a fault
in California -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: That's scary stuff. Thanks very much. Casey Wian. Thanks, Casey.
And later in the program, I'll talk with two of the country's leading
authorities on earthquakes for a closer look at our country's
earthquake risk. You'll want to stick around for that.
in New Hampshire tonight, flood damage remains a big concern for
residents. Officials continue their search for four missing people.
That's after the worst flooding to hit that state in a quarter-century.
Flood watches still in effect for many New England states
tonight. Ten people died on the East Coast this weekend after
Out West tonight, Colorado residents
digging out after a massive early season snowfall. Nearly 20 inches of
snow fell in parts of the state. Three people died, 80,000 homes lost
power out there.
In the meantime, new evidence that heating
your home this winter will be extremely expensive. The Natural Gas
Industry says heating bills will rise at least 50 percent. Industry
officials say there will be no shortage of fuel. However, they say
heating bills for some homes this winter could hit $1,600.
Well, still to come, a new twist tonight in the police beating
controversy in New Orleans. We'll have a live report on that.
Plus, how close is a global bird flu pandemic? One of this country's
leading authorities is my bird -- on bird flu is my guest.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'll be reporting on our
illegal immigration crisis. Failed federal border policies mean broken
borders have come to Main Street, dumping a major issue in the laps of
police officers, school board members and mayors.
PILGRIM: President Bush wrapped up hits eighth trip to the Gulf Coast
disaster region today with visits to a New Orleans suburb and a
hard-hit town in Mississippi. Now, the president's first stop was in
Covington, Louisiana, where Habitat for Humanity is building housing
for the homeless victims of the hurricane. Now, president -- the
president put on a hard hat and helped the volunteers.
Bush then went to Pass Christian, Mississippi, where an elementary
school reopened this week for the first time after Katrina. He praised
the hard work of the residents who are rebuilding their lives and their
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH,
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In spite of the fact that a lot of
equipment was damaged and homes destroyed and teachers without places
to live, this school district is strong. And it's coming back. And it's
a sign that out of the rubble here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi is
a rebuilding, is a spirit of rebuilding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PILGRIM: And President Bush wrapped up his two-day trip to the Gulf, arriving back in Washington this afternoon.
In New Orleans tonight, the victim of a brutal police beating caught on
videotape says he does not believe the attack was racially motivated.
But the FBI continues its civil rights probe into the incident, and the
Justice Department could file federal civil rights charges.
Lisa Sylvester reports.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sixty-four-year- old
retired schoolteacher Robert Davis is the man being pummeled by police
officers. He says he was out buying a pack of cigarettes in the French
Quarter when he stopped an officer to ask him a question.
ROBERT DAVIS, BEATING VICTIM: The basic question I asked him, I was
concerned about the curfew, because I had heard several different
things about the curfew. And it was one person told me 8:00, another
told me 10:00, another told me 12:00. You know? That's all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then what happened?
DAVIS: Then when I asked -- when I walked across the street, the next thing I know is somebody slugged me.
SYLVESTER: Davis doesn't remember much else except a witness saying he
didn't do anything. Today, Davis returned to the block on Bourbon
Street where he was savagely beaten. But he says he's not angry with
the police department as a whole.
DAVIS: It ain't about
every policeman being bad. I'll say that again, and I'll say it 100
times. This guy had a vendetta. He must have woke up and took the wrong
thing that morning.
SYLVESTER: The two officers who beat up
Davis, and a third officer who man handled an AP television producer,
have been suspended without pay and face battery charges. Their fellow
officers are holding off from judging them.
BENELLI, POLICE ASSOC. OF NEW ORLEANS: I do know they want to get their
side of the stories out because the video paints them as some thugs.
And they want to be able to explain their actions so they're not
considered, you know, thug-like.
SYLVESTER: Davis has not seen the video.
DAVIS: I didn't know there was a tape.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you seen the tape?
DAVIS: No, I haven't. Don't want to see it at this point in time. When
I see it, I want to sit down with my family. And we're going to look at
it. I haven't seen anything.
SYLVESTER: But Davis' daughter has. She is deeply troubled but does not believe race played a role.
KEESHA DAVIS, BEATING VICTIM'S DAUGHTER: I just don't think it had
anything to do with race, because there were other cops -- you know,
there were black and white cops in the area, and no one tried to stop
what was going on. No one asked any questions. And I have a problem
course, there are two sides to every story. Now, the three officers
involved have not been talking to the media, at least not yet. But I
spoke to their attorney just a short while ago, and the officers say
that Robert Davis was quite intoxicated that night.
charge that he denies. But the officers say, in fact, that he was so
drunk that he stumbled into a police horse, and at time the officers
were trying to subdue him for his own safety, and then he then put up
quite a fight -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Lisa Sylvester, in New Orleans. Thanks, Lisa.
Still ahead, the illegal alien crisis is now hitting small-town
America. Towns across the country are witnessing a flood of illegal
alien workers. We'll have a special report coming up.
And the latest on the mystery jet, a $7 million plane that just popped up at an airport in Georgia. We'll explain next.
PILGRIM: Tonight, police in Georgia are trying to solve the mystery of
the $7 million jet. Now, this plane was stolen in Florida, landed at
Georgia's Gwinnett County Airport, apparently without anybody noticing.
It was reported missing in St. Augustine, Florida, on Monday morning,
more than a day after it disappeared.
Now, police believe the suspect is an experienced pilot. And there is no indication of any terrorist link.
The terrorist alert in New York City last week was a false alarm.
Government officials now say that warning that terrorists were planning
to attack the subway system was a hoax. The New York Police Department
sharply increased security on the subway system last Thursday, but
yesterday officials said those measures were being scaled back. It
turns out an informant in Iraq gave intelligent officers false
In Iraq today, a deadly bomb attack in a market
crowded with shoppers. The suicide attack in Tal Afar killed at least
30 people. Forty-five others were wounded.
And in Baghdad,
another suicide bomber killed at least four people. The bomb exploded
as an Iraqi army patrol drove by a gas station.
on the Iraqi army convoy shows just how dangerous Iraq's busy highways
are for drivers. Some of the most treacherous roads are in Baghdad.
U.S. military convoys and civilian contractors are frequently attacked
Aneesh Raman reports from Baghdad.
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's called the world's
most dangerous road. A private security company coming under insurgent
gunfire earlier this year as they drove from the capital to the
airport. A persistent threat on a road many fear and no one can avoid.
But for Sergeant Major Taylor, Route Irish, as it's called, is a daily
destination, patrolling for potential bombs. In recent months, Taylor's
soldiers significantly brought down the number of attacks, ridding the
road of its infamy by befriending the community.
ROBERT TAYLOR, U.S. ARMY: If we don't own these neighborhoods, we don't
own that road out here. And we've got to own the neighborhoods.
RAMAN: But nearby, on Route Pluto, it's about showing force. This is
the road, according to the U.S. military, that sees the most roadside
bombs in Baghdad.
The U.N. headquarters bombed here in 2003.
A car bomb killed dozens of children this summer. Humvees alone can't
stop the attacks here.
(on camera): These tanks provide more
than protection. They also send a very important message. The Abrams
tanks are huge. They take about 500 gallons of fuel away, over 68 tons.
They are a sign of force against the insurgency.
(voice over): The biggest threat, IEDs. Minutes into a patrol, heavy moments of uncertainty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just wired a tail (ph) that looks like it's going into the drain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very hard to determine. I'm telling you. Something about this ain't right.
RAMAN: In the end, it was only a carcass. But the patrol stays vigilant. Complacency kept at bay.
SGT. FRANK MEZO, U.S. ARMY: Because the minute you let your guard down,
then one day you'll go out and, you know, there's everything happening.
RAMAN: And anything can happen. The threats vary. On Route
Irish, Taylor says there's now a new danger for Iraqis: private
TAYLOR: They're the biggest threat on the
road. If they're in a hurry, they just start firing up in the air. If
there's innocent bystanders around that get hit, they're not worried
RAMAN: A view shared privately by others in the U.S. military, as well as some contracting companies operating in Iraq.
Every day U.S. troops are out patrolling these roads. The threat is
always real, but so is the hope that securing things here will go a
long way to securing the country.
Aneesh Raman, CNN, Baghdad.
PILGRIM: New developments tonight in the escalating U.N. scandal over
Iraq's oil-for-food program. Police in France have arrested a former
French U.N. ambassador, Jean-Bernard Merimee, for questioning about
possible corruption. He's one of 11 prominent Frenchman, including a
former interior minister, who's under investigation.
France, of course, had close ties with the Saddam Hussein regime. It
was also a strong opponent of the war with Iraq.
"Broken Borders." Communities around the country are dealing with the
same problem, illegal aliens. Our special report is next.
And bird flu fright. How prepared is our government for a possible
outbreak of deadly bird flu? A former public health adviser to the
government is our guest.
Stay with us.
PILGRIM: Tonight, our nation's immigration crisis has reached into
communities across America. Mayors, city council officials, even school
board members now find themselves dealing with the invasion of millions
of illegal aliens into this country.
Christine Romans reports.
ROMANS (voice over): Local politics used to be about potholes and 4th
of July fireworks. But today, city councils, school boards and town
police have a much bigger problem on their hands: an immigration
AUDREY SINGER, IMMIGRATION FELLOW, BROOKINGS
INSTITUTE: It does get played out at the local level. The federal
government is responsible for a lot of things, but local governments
are left having to see how this plays out.
ROMANS: This is
the spread of illegal immigration. In 1990, nearly 80 percent of the
illegal aliens in this country were in just five states. Today, it's
spread to every state in America.
STEVEN CAMAROTA, CENTER
FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: Given widespread public dissatisfaction with
illegal immigration and a desire to see the law enforced, politicians,
who until now have taken a very soft line towards illegal immigration
and say it's the federal government's responsibility, not ours here in
this city or state, be warned.
ROMANS: In Herndon, Virginia, a public uproar over plans to use taxpayer money to build a day labor center for these men.
In New Haven, Connecticut, backlash as the mayor considers legal identification cards for illegal aliens.
On Long Island, a bitter Republican primary for town supervisor. Both contenders on anti-illegal immigration platforms.
In Dallas, a sharply divided school board vote to require some
principals learn Spanish to accommodate the parents of the estimated 30
percent of Dallas students here illegally.
Hoover, Alabama, numerous complaints over day laborers openly negotiating for illegal jobs.
A complaint from Danbury, Connecticut, to Freehold, New Jersey, to
Austin, Texas, and Jupiter, Florida, where politicians and police
grapple with long lines of people here illegally, looking for work.
ROMANS: Now, the day labor controversy is becoming the public face of
these local battles over immigration, illegal immigration.
schools and police departments are also under pressure for the growing
demand for local services with no corresponding increase in the tax
base. This is why, far away from our international borders, illegal
immigration is the rising issue for voters on Main Street. There are
now more illegal aliens in the suburbs than in the city centers --
PILGRIM: Such a tough situation. Thanks very much, Christine Romans.
Well, we'd like to know what you believe are the most critical issues
facing this country. In tonight's poll, "What do you think is the most
important issue for your community? Illegal immigration, the economy,
energy prices or the threat of terror?" Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com.
We'll bring you the results a little bit later in the broadcast.
We reported last night on the large number of Mexican workers taking
jobs to rebuild the Gulf Coast. My next guest made it his mission to
ensure those rebuilding jobs go to people from the Gulf Coast.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson today arrived in New Orleans delivering
busloads of people who fled the city weeks ago. Now, they have returned
to New Orleans in the hope of finding jobs. The caravan picked up
evacuees from St. Louis, Memphis and elsewhere.
Jesse Jackson joins us now from New Orleans.
And Reverend Jackson, have you -- how have you been received by the
local government in New Orleans? Also Mayor Nagin? How have they taken
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Well, they've been very positive. He came to the reception today.
The fact is that that was a crisis and rescue. A crisis en masse,
dislocation, but no plan for the return of those displaced persons.
And so when Mr. Bush put forth a federal bailout on the state's terms
and gave no bid contracts and suspended the building wages, they began
to recruit workers from Central America. They didn't just like invade
us, workers from Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Maquiladora. Those
workers were recruited because they could make them -- let them work on
the prevailing wages without health insurance.
Reverend Jackson, how many people have you brought with you? Will you
bring more? And have they been placed in jobs yet? JACKSON: We'll bring
more, and all of them have been placed. For example, there is a crying
need for jobs. Burger King is hiring workers at $6, $7 an hour as a
bonus if they'll commit for a year. And Piccadillo's and McDonald's and
KFC are doing similar deals.
Hotels are looking for workers.
A surplus of jobs here, but there is not a connection between the jobs
that exist and those in these -- in these camps around the country.
There is no active recruitment to bring those back who, in fact, have
been back here five and six weeks ago. And those who are in these camps
have a right to return and must have the right to reconstruction and
PILGRIM: What are you doing for housing, sir?
JACKSON: Well, No. 1, we have adequate housing for those who we brought
with us today. But then a much greater need for the use of housing.
There is unused hotel rooms that FEMA workers are staying in for
example. The cruise liners that police and firemen are staying in.
There are unused military basis like Algiers base, English Air Force
And so if they use available lands within 90 miles,
you have the real recruitment of those who have been displaced. Because
when people saw people dying in New Orleans, face down, and on
rooftops, they gave money, the Bush/Clinton fund. The President Bush
bailout plan was for people who were displaced.
displaced people have been displaced again. They can't get no bid
contracts and can't get, often, basic access to jobs.
PILGRIM: I do have to switch topics on you for just a second and ask
what does the police brutality case in New Orleans suggest to you?
What's your reaction to that?
JACKSON: Well, it shows a
certain rotten -- it might not just be an apple. It might be an
orchard. You know, in the midst of this storm, this flood and
hurricane, over 20 police officers went AWOL. That seemed like it was,
like, an organized move by a body of policemen.
Another case of police, 12 of them were looting people's homes. Another group of them drove Cadillacs off of a parking lot.
And so when the focus is on black youth looting here and kind of
painting the city in that way, it seems a very profound and deep police
problem exists here. And of course, district attorney has his hands
What happened last night was Rodney King-like. It was
ugly. Those who have gone and beaten people that way, must face the
full weight of the law. Because it's illegal, it's immoral, it's
PILGRIM: Reverend Jesse Jackson. Thank you very much for being with us tonight sir. Thank you.
JACKSON: Thank you.
Turning now to China, where Treasury Secretary John Snow is scheduled
to arrive tomorrow. His visit comes as China, which is the world's
fastest growing military and economic power, continues to finance the
massive U.S. deficit.
Bill Schneider reports.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): The U.S. deficit is
financed by borrowing, from whom? Increasingly, China, now the United
States' second largest lender after Japan. Is that a problem? The
director of the Congressional Budget Office says no.
HOLTZ-EAKIN, DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: Dollars all look
the same. Their ultimate source doesn't matter.
SCHNEIDER: Many economists agree.
ALBERT KEIDEL, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: It's not a problem.
SCHNEIDER: Why not?
KEIDEL: They're becoming increasingly reasonable members of the world
financial community. And they don't want to be seen as irresponsible or
sort of vindictive or anything like that.
SCHNEIDER: Moreover it's not in China's economic self-interests.
DOMINIC WILSON, GOLDMAN SACHS: They have no great interest in
destabilizing either the U.S. bull market or the U.S. economy.
Obviously, this is a major export market for most of them. For China
it's the largest export market.
SCHNEIDER: Isn't there something worrisome about communist China financing the U.S. government?
WILSON: It also is a situation which makes the U.S. more vulnerable,
both to decisions of overseas governments, but also to the decisions of
overseas investors, generally. That's not a situation that, over the
long run, you want to be in.
SCHNEIDER: It's the Chinese
government that's lending the money. If they decide to cut back their
investment, it could drive U.S. interest rates up. Couldn't it?
KEIDEL: U.S. Federal Reserve has enormous resources. What the Chinese
might do can't really compete with what the fed would do.
SCHNEIDER: Here's somebody who is worried.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That means every
single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows
money from other countries to finance Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, and
our tax cuts. We have never done this before. SCHNEIDER: Well, we have,
economists say, but not on this scale.
KEIDEL: I would say
the real issue is not where the money is coming from, but is this size
deficit healthy for the United States?
SCHNEIDER: They say the problem is not the lender; it's the borrower.
WILSON: In terms of the dependence on foreign borrowing, the simple solution is the U.S. needs to save more.
SCHNEIDER: If Americans save more, they can borrow the money from themselves, not from the Chinese.
SCHNEIDER: Goldman Sachs report 2040 China will be the largest economy
in the world. The U.S. will be No. 2. And you know what the old Avis
car rental ads used to say, when you're No. 2, you have to try harder
PILGRIM: Thanks for pointing that out to us, Bill Schneider. Thanks a lot, Bill.
PILGRIM: Well, still ahead, one of our nation's leading authorities on
avian flu joins me. How much should we worry about the deadly disease?
Also as Pakistan, India and Kashmir mourn their dead, two leading
earthquake scientists discuss this nation's rising earthquake risk.
Stay with us.
the United States is giving Cambodia almost $2 million to help fight
the bird flu. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt says
the money will help prevent the spread of the mysterious disease around
the globe. Secretary Leavitt has been traveling around Southeast Asia.
He's meeting with health officials working to contain the disease, and
today he inspected biosecurity measures at a chicken farm in Thailand.
Now, the bird flu has been reported in birds in 15 countries, as far
west as Romania. The disease has spread to humans in four countries
including Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia. In all, at least
60 people have died.
My next guest says a deadly bird flu
pandemic could spread around the world like a slow-moving tsunami.
Michael Osterholm has advised the government on its bird flu response
plan. He's the director of the Center For Infectious Disease Research
and Policy. He joins us from Minneapolis. Now, do you believe that the
government is ready for an outbreak of bird flu in this country, sir?
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, CTR. FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH: Well, first of
all, nobody is ready, not our government, not any government, not in
the private sector area -- no one is ready.
know, you have said -- I've read a lot of your research. You said every
CEO in this country should make it a top priority. You're talking to
the private sector. What can they do?
OSTERHOLM: Well, first
of all, most of the private sector has never thought through the kind
of emergency plans that would need to go into place if a pandemic of
influenza were to hit. Unlike the kind of disruption that we think of
with a single earthquake or hurricane or a tsunami or even a blizzard,
what would happen here is, is that we would shut down the global
economy for 12 to 18 months.
As you heard already, trade and
travel would be restricted between countries. And people, often, have
no idea of the supply chains that are critical to their products of to
their services, where they come from, how long they are, where they go,
and they need to understand because it's very possible that overnight
they could be without a product or without a service to offer.
PILGRIM: You know, reading your research, you say every continent is
going to be an island, basically. It sounds like the plot for a
horrific movie, and yet, you have Health and Human Services Secretary
Michael Leavitt doing a trip through Southeast Asia hoping for
coordination. You almost paint a picture that that might be futile.
OSTERHOLM: Well, I wouldn't say it's futile. First of all, I can't
begin to compliment sufficiently the efforts that Secretary Leavitt has
put forward over recent months to, first of all, alert the world to our
lack of preparedness, and second of all to try to spearhead a need to
be prepared if it should happen tonight or next week, next month, next
year, next decade.
Pandemics are going to continue to occur.
There have been 10 of them in the last 300 years. Just like tsunamis
and earthquakes and hurricanes, they will continue to occur. But I
think the point is that once a pandemic of influenza begins, once have
you human to human transmission, the animals almost become
inconsequential. They will not be the source of that virus in any
measurable way to humans. We'll take it ourselves around the world.
And then that comment about every continent being, in a sense, on its
own, every town, every hamlet, every county, every state, every country
will be on their own because no one else will be there to bail each of
us out because we'll all be dealing with it at the same time. That's
what we have to start planning for today and that's what we have to
understand is going to be the inevitable outcome.
PILGRIM: If you're watching this broadcast as a viewer, and you hear this, what can you possibly do?
OSTERHOLM: First of all, that's another problem from the standpoint of
who you are as the viewer. If you're an individual citizen, there isn't
a lot you can do. There's still a debate about will Tamiflu, the drug
work. If it does, how does it work? Can you stockpile it? Of course
not, There's never going to be enough drug. That might be one thing.
But what we have to do, is We have to say to our communities, OK, if we
can't provide health care in the hospitals, as we won't be able to do
-- they'll be flooded quickly -- how are we going to plan in our
community to handle the number of people who are ill? How are we going
to handle the dead? How are we going to make sure there is food to our
citizens every day.
Remember that even under the worst
scenario we're still talking about 98 or more out of 100 people
surviving, getting through it. But for that year or 18 months that
they're actually affected by a pandemic, we have to make certain that
we can provide the basic support services that you, as all of the rest
of the media so well documented, didn't happen in the immediate days
after the Hurricane Katrina. This has all the hallmarks of doing many
of those same things.
PILGRIM: Thank you very much, Michael Osterholm. Thanks for being with us this evening.
OSTERHOLM: Thank you very much.
PILGRIM: Well, as our nation prepares for the possibility of a bird flu
pandemic, there are new concerns tonight about getting regular flu
vaccinations to Americans this year. A new survey says local health
departments in many parts of the country are still waiting for the
Some health departments say they may have
to cancel vaccination clinics and some fear they'll not get enough
vaccine until late next month. That's when interest in getting a flu
shot drops off. Well, this survey was conducted by the National
Association of County and City Health Officials.
reminder now to vote in tonight's poll. What do you think is the most
important issue for your community? Illegal immigration, the economy,
energy prices, or threat of terror. Cast your vote at loudobbs.com.
We'll bring you the results in just a few minutes.
up, devastation in south Asia. Experts say it's only a matter of time
before another deadly earthquake hits this country. Two leading
earthquake authorities join me next.
PILGRIM: Earthquake experts around the world are assessing risk factors
for their countries after the disaster in south Asia. Now, the
existence of several fault lines has worried experts about what could
happen here has happened in Pakistan.
PILGRIM: The massive earthquake in Pakistan, more than a seven. In
March, northern Sumatra, 8.7. A thousand people were killed. Honshu,
Japan, a 7.2 earthquake in August. It may seem as if seismic activity
is increasing, but since the earthquake that triggered the tsunami last
December, earthquake activity has been normal.
The world has
had ten major earthquakes and the annual average is between five and 15
earthquakes of 7.5 or higher. For the United States, California is the
PROF. THOMAS JORDAN, S. CA. EARTHQUAKE CTR.,
USC: We can definitely have an earthquake of this magnitude in the
United States. In fact, I live in Los Angeles, and right beneath my
feet, here on the campus of the University of Southern California, is a
very large fault capable of producing an earthquake of up to magnitude
7.5 of the same type that just damaged Pakistan.
This simulation shows what would happen if a major earthquake were to
take place just outside of Los Angeles along the fault line. Such an
event could destroy the Port of Los Angeles, large portions of the
city, and cause up to $250 billion in damage. Anywhere from 3,000 to
18,000 people could be killed.
Throughout the country, 26
cities are at risk. There are fault lines in southern Alaska. The New
Madrid fault in southeastern Missouri, which could affect the city of
Seismologists and engineers worry that cities like New York and Boston are at risk.
ANDRE FILIATRAULT, CENTER FOR EARTHQUAKE RESEARCH: The problem we're
facing is existing construction, existing buildings, which have been
built, designed, way before the knowledge that is needed to properly
design structure to resist such an earthquake has been implemented.
Joining me with insight into the earthquake risk, both to the United
States and the rest of the world are two leading earthquake
authorities. Professor William Menke and William Leith and both join me
this evening. Dr. Leith, 26 U.S. cities, how much should we worry?
WILLIAM LEITH, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: Well, earthquakes, Kitty, occur
every day, little ones, I get about half a dozen per day, I get text
messages on my phone.
And yet the risk to people across the
country is real in 39 different states. The USGS estimates that we have
moderate to high earthquake hazard in 39 different states, and those 26
cities are the cities that are most at risk for damage.
PILGRIM: Are we doing enough?
PROF. WILLIAM MENKE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: No, we're not.
Education, particularly of building practices is important. Going out
and look at things and retrofitting buildings that were built 50 or 100
years ago and are at serious risk for earthquakes is very important,
PILGRIM: Professor, we were looking at the subject
today. We were looking at many cities, and New York and Boston, many
old historical buildings. It is worrisome that they're not going to be
able to withstand anything.
MENKE: And there will another New
York earthquake. It will not be as big as the earthquake we saw in
Pakistan, probably. Probably only a magnitude five, but it will be a
shock to New York and a shock we had better prepare for.
PILGRIM: Dr. Leith, what can be done now in your view? Now that we have
all this advanced warning and we also have the luxury of being able to
observe earthquakes all over the world via media and satellites, what
are we learning and what can we apply to this?
think the take home message from the Sumatra disaster, from Hurricane
Katrina, is a dollar that's spent in prevention, I dollar that's spent
for mitigating the hazard, for preparing plans for earthquake response,
for education as Bill Menke said, that the dollars pay off in the long
run. They pay off maybe 10 to a hundred times the investment.
We just commissioned a study of the National Research Council to look
into that question, and they concluded that in fact, the benefits from
improving our seismic monitoring hazard assessment and preparedness
outweigh those costs by about a factor of ten.
know, in also looking through the data, I guess we get about five to 15
major earthquakes every year, around the world. We've had about 10.
Does this mean that we're due for one? I mean, when you look at numbers
like this, it comes up in your mind that perhaps we're due?
MENKE: Well, there's always the next earthquake. What we don't know is
where, and we don't know when. But we know it's coming. The best we can
do is to be prepared for it.
It's entirely outrageous when I
see pictures of buildings that have crumbled down into heaps of
concrete almost like pancakes stacked up at a diner. It's outrageous
that these things happen, because they could be prevented by, you know,
applying skills that we've known ion construction for 30 years.
PILGRIM: Should there be pressure put on world governments to better prepare, do you think, Dr. Leith?
LEITH: Oh, I think it's absolutely essential that -- that governments,
you know, from the local level to the state level to national
governments, do what they can in advance to prepare.
disaster scenarios for earthquakes that are quite possible in the U.S.
are really horrific. And a recent earthquake scenario built for Los
Angeles indicates that perhaps as many as 18,000 people would lose
their lives, and that damage, direct losses might be in the area of a
quarter of a trillion dollars. And both -- and outside the U.S. there
are cities across the globe that are very highly vulnerable to large
earthquakes. Particularly those, for example, in India through the
Middle East, and for example, Tehran, and these are cities that have
populations in excess of 10 million and still have a very high
PILGRIM: You know, the level of frustration
of both of you gentlemen must be very high when you see pictures that
like -- that have been coming out of Pakistan.
It strikes me
that, as a broadcast journalist, we're seeing these pictures. During
the tsunami, we saw the pictures of the tsunami efforts, and there was
considerable progress made to predicting tsunamis. Can we make a
similar stride ahead now?
Dr. Leith, I'll turn to you.
LEITH: What we can do well is we can say where the earthquakes will be.
We can indicate what earthquake probabilities are. But that Holy Grail
goal of prediction is a way off. It's not even clear what earthquakes
are in the short-term.
But much can be done by recognizing
the hazard and preparing for it. Doing what can be done to improve
building practices, upgrade building codes in earthquake-vulnerable
areas, and as Bill Menke said, educate people.
PILGRIM: Professor Menke and Doctor Leith, thank you very much for being with us this evening to discuss this.
LEITH: My pleasure.
PILGRIM: And we wish you every success in your efforts.
Still ahead, the results of our poll question tonight, and a preview of tomorrow. Stay with us.
PILGRIM: Here are the results of tonight's poll. Fifty-one percent of
you said illegal immigration is the most important issue for your
community. Twenty-six percent of you said the economy. Twenty-three
percent said energy prices. One percent said the threat of terror.
Well, thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us tomorrow. Our
guests will include Lawrence O'Donnell, who's the executive producer
and writer of "West Wing." Plus New Jersey homeowners fight a city
government that wants to seize their property for development. It's an
important eminent domain case. So please join us.
For all of us here, good night from New York, and "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now -- Anderson.
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