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View Diary: Number of deaths in MS rumored to be 'staggering' (27 comments)

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  •  Agreed. (none)
    Although well-informed assessments of potential loss of life should also be considered. I just posted this on the open thread, but it bears repeating. Here's one analysis from last November estimating the impact in terms of loss of life had Ivan hit NO.

    Residents who did not have personal transportation were unable to evacuate even if they wanted to. Approximately 120,000 residents (51,000 housing units x 2.4 persons/unit) do not have cars. A proposal made after the evacuation for Hurricane Georges to use public transit buses to assist in their evacuation out of the city was not implemented for Ivan. If Ivan had struck New Orleans directly it is estimated that 40-60,000 residents of the area would have perished.

    With that in mind, one might consider an estimate from last Sunday night.  From the AP:

    Katrina could be especially devastating if it strikes New Orleans because the city sits below sea level and is dependent on levees and pumps to keep the water out. A direct hit could wind up submerging the city in several feet of water.

    Making matters worse, at least 100,000 people in the city lack the transportation to get out of town. Nagin said the Superdome might be used as a shelter of last resort for people who have no cars, with city bus pick-up points around New Orleans.

    If any of these indications are at all correct, the loss of life could be staggering. Of course, we should wait for confirmation of loss of life. But when news outlets focus attention on looting, it's instructive to bear in mind analyses concerned with evacuation of poor people.

    "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

    by machopicasso on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 12:02:53 AM PDT

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    •  These quotes (none)
      I would guess are discussing a Direct hit with a 5 hurricane. I don't believe there is any way the numbers of people you are suggesting or the reports are suggesting are anywhere near real. I really believe most got out before hand, many went to the Dome and many are now being rescued. I would guess tops...4 to 5 hundred people will have died. It is a wasted tragic preventable loss. I think Mississippi will have a lot as many thought with the news hype it was a direct hit on NO.

      *"I went to protest Dobson, and all I got was this damn feeding tube*

      by Chamonix on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 12:33:57 AM PDT

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      •  I don't know. (none)
        It was my understanding that only approx. 10,000 people were in the Superdome by the time the storm hit.  And another AP article I read on Sunday night --one which I think has since been removed-- estimated 40-80,000 people in the city (presumably in poor neighborhoods) had no means of transportation. That's alot of people to evacuate, especially when everyone else is trying to leave, as well.  

        I'm not trying to hype this, or anything, and I honestly hope that you're right and that the numbers of people killed are significantly lower. It's just worth bearing this information in mind until we get solid numbers. Because if there is a staggering loss of life, there's good reason to believe it's on account of inadequate emergency transportation measures for poor people, and many will no doubt try to frame that issue differently.

        "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

        by machopicasso on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 10:05:54 AM PDT

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