Situation New Orleans from bad to worse

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In possibly the biggest natural disaster of US history, hurricane Katrina has left devistation in New Orleans and surrounding area's. Things have gone from bad to worse. Martial law is declared in New Orleans City. The National Guard is deployed, with the order to 'Shoot To Kill' in an attempt to 'stop looting'. But reports say the National Guard is also blocking supplies getting into the affected area's. A group of 500 airboat pilots trying to support the rescue effort were stopped and send back. It is estimated 300.000 people are still trapped by the water. In an interview, the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, lashed out at the Federal Authority, telling them to 'get off their arses'. Download interview. The US government is receiving a lot of critisism as rescue efforts have been choatic and aid starting arriving only four days after the hurricane struck.

Priorities of a corporate empire: Bush cut $20-$40 million needed to strengthen levees - a 2004 project that was 80% complete. Needing troops, he sent 35% of Louisiana's National Guard to Iraq. Then he pushed to privatize disaster services including the N.O. disaster plan, and disabled FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

>>> Updates on the hurricane disaster on New Orleans Indymedia

>>> Coverage of the refugee situation on Houston Indymedia

Houston Indymedia Coverage: Video: 1 | 2 | 3 Reports from New Orleans: 1 | 2 | 3

How to help: Donate: Red Cross | Second Harvest

Other: Kartina Help Wiki

More Links: Weather Warning (28th August) | Democracy Now! reports (Aug. 30) (Aug. 31) (Sept. 1) (Sept. 2) | Explanation about Hurricanes (MP3) | Further analysis: 1 , 2 , 3 | Insane looting? - Not at all! | An analysis of the 'anarchy' in New Orleans' streets Commentary from the Newswire: Katrina open letter to radical/progressive community (From Houston) | In Praise of Looting | American Genocide in New Orleans

"Things were so crazy: it was all poor black people and old white people - the people who couldn't afford to get out." William Quigley, a Law Professor at Loyola University said: "They are estimating that it may take several days to evacuate these people. Water, electricity, food, security all will be gone by then." Indeed, enforced evacuations began on Aug 30, following a mass exodus from the city in advance of the hurricane - but initial estimates that expected them to be complete by the evening of August 30th were overly optimistic. And, while outside agencies struggle to help, thousands remain stuck - including inside hospitals [ 1 | 2 ]

Despite years old warnings that New Orleans was a major risk for flooding following a hurricane, funding was slashed and Louisiana State and US Federal rescue services have now been unable to cope with the developing tragedy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina earlier this week. Flood waters continue to rise, and more people are being threatened with their lives on an hourly basis: emergency evacuation centers - including the Superdome - are isolated and State governor, Kathleen Blanco has called for the complete evacuation of the city. Further claims state that it will be months before the city becomes inhabitable again.

Meanwhile, it appears that priorities were focused elsewhere: it seems the US is more concerned with oil - the price of petrol is rising and both Florida and Hawaii are trying to conserve their stocks, following on from the devastating effects of Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico; questions are also being asked if the National Guard is being stretched thin by Iraq War? And while Bush can't meet anti-war protestors, his plane is diverted over New Orleans. The irony doesn't stop...

Topic revision: r6 - 03 Sep 2005, WietsE
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