Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Orleans, a city of the dead and the dying

What is left of New Orleans? With tens of thousands already evacuated, and with evacuations continuing, the city is now left to the dead and the dying:

Thousands more bedraggled refugees were bused and airlifted to salvation Saturday, leaving the heart of New Orleans to the dead and dying, the elderly and frail stranded too many days without food, water or medical care.

No one knows how many were killed by hurricane Katrina’s floods and how many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating among the ruined city, crumpled on wheelchairs, abandoned on highways.

And the dying goes on — at the convention centre and an airport triage centre, where bodies were kept in a refrigerated truck.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Saturday that she expected the death toll to reach the thousands...

A once-vibrant city of 480,000 people, overtaken just days ago by floods, looting, rape and arson, was now an empty, sodden tomb.

Such has been the destruction of Katrina.

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