"the best post on the subject [of the Stockwell shooting] so far and I agree. A must read." - Tim Worstall, August 21, 2005

"Chris at Optimus In Omnis wrote a thoughtful post in July...his more recent post describes the edginess many Londoners feel" - BBC News Online, August 22, 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Governor of Louisiana has no answers, only tears

The Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, could only manage to say the words "it's heartbreaking" before breaking into tears at a press conference yesterday. Indeed, the fate that has befallen the Gulf Coast at the hands of Hurricane Katrina is heartbreaking.

The category four storm, which ripped a 500 foot wide gash in the tidal defence systems of Louisiana, has now claimed at least 100 lives. Many more will without doubt be named as dead in the upcoming days and weeks - for now, though, the priority is saving those who still have a chance of survivng the most horrific natural disaster to sweep this part of America in years.

Numerous bodies that are floating down unwanted and unplanned extensions to the Mississippi River are being ignored by the emergency services, who, aside from having to remove water from the city, clean up wreckage and save the lives of those stranded on rooftops of collapsed houses, will also have to contend with the logistical nightmare of transferring 1,000 patients, many of whom are critical, from various hospitals in the region. Also a key priority are the 10,000 or more who still stay stranded in the New Orleans Superdome, which is providing little comfort and, with a gaping hole in its roof, is no place for refugees and orphans of the greatest hurricane to hit Louisiana to stay while the water still billows around them.

Martial law has been introduced, with looters stopped at gunpoint and ordered to return their stolen goods. Most of these people, however, are generally law abiding citizens, and have been forced by the most extraordinary of circumstances to loot businesses, supermarkets and pharmacies for vital rations which they are not getting from the authorities.

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