- Reaction score
PhilS said:You don't think that skin colour has anything to do with it?
PostModern said:I have a second cousin (once removed) missing in the flood atm. My cousin (her mother) is about to fly out there and do what she can to find her. Scary shit. If she is surviving by taking food from a grocery store, I'd like to see an American court (or any court for that matter) try to convict her afterwards.
This is not business as usual, it's a survival situation. The idiot who wrote the article on the left deserves to have his/her genitals removed with a blunt instrument.
Tidalpete said:I hope things turn out ok for your second cousin.
Rotting bodies littered the flooded streets of New Orleans today and mounting violence threatened to turn into all-out anarchy as thousands of survivors of Hurricane Katrina pleaded to be evacuated, or even just fed.
The historic jazz city has fallen prey to armed looters since Katrina tore through and it now more closely resembles Haiti or another Third World trouble spot in a refugee crisis than one of America's most popular vacation centres.
Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco warned rioters and looters late on Thursday that National Guard troops were under her orders to "shoot and kill" if needed to restore order.
"These troops are battle-tested. They have M-16s and are locked and loaded," she said. "These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will."
Police units, rescue teams and even hospital workers came under gunfire today and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded for urgent help in getting thousands of evacuees to safety.
"This is a desperate SOS," he said.
People became increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of rescue and evacuation efforts a full three days after Katrina tore up the US Gulf Coast.
Elderly people in wheelchairs braved flooded streets in search of help, and entire families were trapped on elevated highways without food or water in sweltering heat.
"We want help," people chanted at the city convention centre, where thousands of evacuees were told to seek shelter only to find woefully inadequate supplies of food or water.
Several corpses lay in nearby streets. The body of one elderly woman was simply abandoned in her wheelchair, covered with just a blanket.
Norma Blanco Johnson, waiting for a bus with her daughter and infant granddaughter, said her main concern was her three sons, who she hadn't seen since before the hurricane hit.
"I don't know what happened to them," Johnson said, adding that her anxiety and fear had only been multiplied by the experience of sheltering in the Superdome.
"This was no way to treat a human being. I lost everything and then I went through hell. I have no place left. I have nowhere to go and all I have are these," she said, pointing to her soiled clothes.
Officials feared thousands of people were killed but they could still only guess at the death toll.
With much of New Orleans flooded and electricity cut off, hospitals struggled to evacuate critically ill patients who were dying for lack of oxygen, insulin or intravenous fluids.
One effort to transfer patients was frustrated when a sniper opened fire on doctors and National Guard troops at the Charity Hospital and they had to retreat back into the building.
Angela Perkins drops to her knees begging for help among thousands of people gathered at the New Orleans Convention Centre waiting for help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
At a city airport, scores of people, many of them seriously ill, waited for flights out to shelter and proper medical care before more of them perish.
Experts warned of another possible health catastrophe in coming days as diseases flourish in filthy, contaminated floodwaters on streets covered in garbage and human faeces.
Sporadic gunfire hampered chaotic and widely criticised rescue efforts throughout today.
Residents complained police and troops had failed to tackle the looting and shootings or help in the rescue effort.
"We found this one old lady who was sick. We tried to pick her up but the police just drove by. They won't even help sick old ladies," said one man who identified himself as Tracy.
Rock 'n' roll legend Fats Domino was among the thousands still unaccounted for after he opted to ride the hurricane out at his New Orleans home.
Nagin said between 15,000 and 20,000 survivors were still stranded at the convention centre and, with supplies rapidly running out, there were not enough buses to ferry them to shelter in Houston, as earlier promised.
Military reinforcements descended and armoured personnel carriers patrolled Canal Street, which borders New Orleans' famous French Quarter district of bars and clubs.
Search crews were in a desperate race to pluck stranded residents from their homes, some clinging to the roof or any spot they could find above the water line. Survivors were still being pulled out, but the corpses were left behind.
Senior Pentagon officials said the National Guard force on the storm-ravaged Gulf coast would be raised to 30,000, and 3000 regular Army soldiers may also be sent in to tackle armed gangs that have looted stores across New Orleans.
"We will not tolerate lawlessness, or violence, or interference with the evacuation," Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said.
The boost would bring to nearly 50,000 the number of part-time Guard and active-duty military personnel in the biggest domestic relief and security effort in US history.
On the ground, however, there was still no sign the mayhem was being brought under control, and residents feared further violence and bloodshed once darkness fell.
In Washington and in the region, officials were grilled about the pace of the relief operation, and some Democrats accused President George W Bush of acting too slowly.
The US Senate approved a $US10.5 billion ($A13.8 billion) emergency funding bill requested by Bush to speed help to Katrina's victims, and the House of Representatives is expected to pass identical legislation on Friday.
Bush said looters should be treated with "zero tolerance" and also urged Americans to conserve petrol.
"Don't buy gas if you don't need it," he said.
With several refineries on the US Gulf Coast shut, retail petrol prices soared to new records.
Federal disaster declarations covered 234,000 square kilometres along the US Gulf Coast, an area roughly the size of Britain.
As many as 400,000 people had been forced to leave their homes.
Thousands waited hours or waded through floodwaters to seek rides out of New Orleans.
Buses began shipping survivors from the Superdome 560 km west to another stadium, the Astrodome in Houston, although not as quickly as hoped.
A million people fled the New Orleans area before Katrina hit but tens of thousands of others were unable to get out or could not afford to make the journey.
The floodwaters started to drop on Thursday in New Orleans, which is mostly below sea level and was deluged by water from Lake Pontchartrain after levees broke.
Much of the city was still under several feet of water and officials said it could take a month to get the water out.