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Hurricane Katrina

作者:佚名 时间:2006-9-1 18:21:30 点击:

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Hurricane Katrina was a hurricane that caused extensive and severe damage over the southeastern United States, including Louisiana's largest city, New Orleans, on August 29, 2005. Federal disaster declarations blanketed 90,000 square miles of the United States, an area almost as large as the United Kingdom. Katrina may eventually be classified as the worst natural disaster to hit the United States to date. Disaster relief plans are in operation in the affected areas. Currently, five million people are without power in the Gulf Coast region, and it may be up to two months before all power is restored.

The aftermath of the storm compounded problems. In particular, the breaching of some levees protecting New Orleans caused water to flow unabated into the city. Approximately 200,000 homes are underwater in New Orleans and it is expected to take weeks or months to pump all the water out of the city. There remains a humanitarian disaster, with many people stranded due to flooding [1]. Thirst, hunger, and lack of facilities are leading to lawlessness. [2] The federal disaster area has been placed under the control of FEMA (under Michael Chertoff) and the National Guard; despite numerous reports in the media, there is no declaration of martial law [3], because no such term exists in Louisiana state law[4]. Rather, a state of emergency has been declared, which does give some powers similar to that of martial law. On the evening of August 31, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin did declare "martial law" (in name at least) in the city and said that "officers don't have to worry about civil rights and Miranda rights in stopping the looters." [5] The disruption of petroleum supplies, exports, and imports caused by the storm will likely have major global economic consequences.

Katrina may be the deadliest hurricane in the United States since the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed around 8,000 (possibly up to 12,000) people. It may even surpass the deadliness of the Galveston hurricane: as of 7 PM CDT September 1, 2005, more than 20,000 are still reported missing. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin stated on August 31 that the death toll of Katrina may be "in the thousands", which was confirmed by emergency responders through a statement by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco on September 1. It will take weeks before accurate numbers are known, but Katrina is also expected to be the most expensive natural disaster in United States history, exceeding Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Damage was reported in at least 12 states. Effects of Katrina are seen around the U.S. The average price of gasoline rose approximately 40 cents per US gallon (11 cents per liter) within five days of landfall.

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