As the death toll from this weekends cyclone rose to 10, it has now become clear that during the chaos that engulfed the region on Friday and Saturday, abandoned cars, homes and shops were being looted by thoughtless, self-centred lunatics.
In one of the worst affected areas (Wallsend) security guards were posted as it became clear that looters were helping themselves in the abandoned town centre. There were reports of merchandise of various descriptions being swept down the main street and suburban roads from the towns shopping complex and main street. I heard a story that a large amount of ‘new’ work wear was floating down the main street at one point.
In another story, one looter was seen wading away with three pumpkins from a flooded green grocer shop – they must have been extremely rare pumpkins! Why would anyone risk there lives in a flash flood to steal three pumpkins? Just one of the weirder stories to come out of the disaster.
During my futile attempt to get home early on Saturday morning, I saw security people patrolling the abandoned town center of Cardiff – obviously in an attempt to keep looters away from the heavily damaged shops.
Other stories of heroism have emerged in contrast to the looting lunatics mentioned above. One person I actually know, rescued a woman and a young child from a submerged car at Warners Bay, suffering an electric shock for his troubles in the process. He and his friend just dived into the water to get the two trapped people out of the car that was being swept away.
In another story from Mereweather, a guy rescue twenty people from a swollen city street by jumping on his jet ski and going up and down the road, pulling people from sinking cars, etc.
Clearly, such events bring out the best and the worst of people.