Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Second Berlin Air Bridge Needed

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"The top U.N. relief coordinator warned Thursday that bold initiatives like the Berlin Airlift are needed to save as many as 3 million people left homeless by the South Asian earthquake as winter approaches in the Himalayas.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, reported three quake survivors died of tetanus, reinforcing fears that disease and infected injuries could drive the 79,000 death toll far higher.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. relief coordinator, appealed to NATO and other potential donors to step in with an army of helicopters to fly in relief supplies and evacuate perhaps hundreds of thousands of people.

"The world is not doing enough," Egeland said in Geneva. "We should be able to do this."

He called for "a second Berlin air bridge" -- nonstop flights reminiscent of the U.S. and British airlift of essential supplies into West Berlin in the late 1940s when Soviet troops blocked the city's road links to the West for nearly 11 months. At one point, cargo planes landed in West Berlin at the rate of one a minute."

Munir Ahmad "U.N.: Berlin-Type Airlift Needed in Asia" AP via October 20, 2005.

The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949. Crews unloading flour.
"At one point, cargo planes landed in West Berlin at the rate of one a minute."

Photo credit: (c) copyright, Brooklyn College History Dept, 1997 ../0255/img0047.jpg


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