Sunday, 31 August 2008

Hurricane worse than Katrina to hit New Orleans

New Orleans residents have been fleeing in their thousands after the city's mayor ordered an evacuation ahead of Hurricane Gustav. In 2005, three-quarters of the city was flooded. More than 1,800 people died. Sarah Debacher, who has lived in New Orleans for 10 years and is preparing to leave her home for the fourth time, told the BBC she was feeling more anxious this time round.
"The failure of the federal levees after Hurricane Katrina meant that we experienced devastation that we shouldn't have experienced.
"We don't know, frankly we don't have a lot of faith in the work that's been done to repair the damage that was caused by those failures and by the storm. So, this time we're feeling very insecure.”
Not everyone agrees that this storm will be as bad as Katrina was, however. Eric Blake, from the US National Hurricane Centre in Florida, told the BBC Mr Nagin (The New Orleans mayor) may have exaggerated the size of the hurricane.
The hurricane has already killed more than 80 people in the Caribbean.
It has swept through Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica over the past week, causing widespread damage. It has strengthened rapidly from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane, and is expected to grow to a Category 5 storm - the maximum on the scale - as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico. Another page on the current evacuation here.

A video from the BBC can be seen here. A reminder – the BBC site on hurricanes is excellent. Visit it here. More on this later.

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