New York is a mess. The Subway flooded, scores of people have died, Wall Street shut for the first time since 9/11 and fires, flood and storm damage are racking up a multi-billion dollar bill for the city.

But something barely anyone’s talking about is the much, much higher casualty rate – over five times higher, actually – in the Caribbean, Sandy’s first port of call. While the storm was bearing down on NYC, 43 people had died in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and worst hit, Haiti. That number is now more like 70.
 
Sandy was a vehicle of tragedy – any serious storm approaching the States now is accompanied by a post-Katrina intake of breath swirling around it – but, Substance suspects, it was also quite exciting to think about. The city we imagine getting bombed, stormed and attacked more than any other in our books, films and television was about to get a real going-over by a superstorm called Frankenstorm. Disaster movie! Day After Tomorrow! Headlines!
 
News today of shark sightings in the flood water is the finishing touches on a real-life disaster movie. The fact Sean Kingston has been breaking the news is just a nicely absurd twist on the story.
 
But what about the Caribbean? Would the Western media really be so superficial, racist and self-concerned as to ignore a humanitarian tragedy in paradise?

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