The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is still unfolding. The descent into anarchy following the devastation of New Orleans has left most observers open-mouthed. Here are a number of random facts which are surfacing at the moment:
1. 4% of senators took a vote and approved 10,5 billion dollars in aid for the victims. The rest of the senate was still on holiday at the time of the vote.2. The damage caused by the hurricane is estimated to be above 50 billion dollars.
3. Much of the population of New Orleans have no food or water. This is resulting in raids and sabotage. Casinos and supermarkets have been mobbed in the search for food. Persons are patrolling their neighbourhoods to protect them from ransackers.
4. The state of Texas (population 21 million) has declared that it can take in 75,000 refugees (in this sense taking refuge from the storm). That is 0.35% of its population. The equivalent of Malta (pop 400,000) taking in 1,400 refugees.
5. Since last Sunday it was thought that Fats Domino, one of the fathers of rock’n’roll, was missing. He has been found and escorted from his home.
6. 300 agents of the National Guard (Iraq veterans) have been stationed to keep the peace in New Orleans. They are licensed to shoot at potential troublemakers.
7. Japan has sent the US $500,000 in aid. The Association of American States and NATO have promised help.
8.Food is urgently needed for 25,000 people. The number of dead is still not clear.
9. Reaction from Bush and the White House is being perceived as slow.