In the low lying delta regions of Mississippi and Louisiana, an estimated 1,000 people died when hurricane Katrina hit on Monday 29 August 2005. Most devastation is in New Orleans where officials attempted a full evacuation of the city over the preceding weekend. The city, parts of which are up to 10 feet below sea level, has levy banks not able to withstand category 5 storms like Katrina. Frequency of hurricanes is being associated with global warming.
The southern states of Louisiana and Mississippi are the two poorest in the USA as reflected in blues music lyrics associated with the region. Population of New Orleans is 485,000 and is 67% black versus 12.3% national average for USA. Median household income is $27,133 versus $41,944 national average. Crime statistics are 50% higher than national average. No doubt those who stayed put wished to protect meagre possessions. Much angst continues in the aftermath as emergency resources appear slow to have been committed.
Worst death toll from a cyclone was in Bangladesh (also a delta region) on 29 April 1991 when 140,000 are believed to have died.
Posted Saturday, 3 September 2005
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