Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans

My heart goes out to the poor people of the Gulf Coast. Please do what you can to support them.

There are many strange assertions being made regarding this disaster. I hope they are better addressed in the mainstream media. Many government agencies seem so surprised and caught off guard. This 2001 Scientific American article is being cited a lot in the blogosphere.

Here's some more information from an LSU Research page from Winter 2004 noting the threat posed by even a Category 3 hurricane:

"An opinion survey recently conducted by a new LSU center indicates that 30 percent of New Orleans' residents would not evacuate, even if a major hurricane were about to hit.

Forty percent of Louisiana is coastal zone in which 70 percent of the population resides. Ninety percent of the coastal zone is near or below sea level. Densely populated areas, such as New Orleans, rank among the highest in the nation with respect to potential mortality and economic impacts.

The study of public health impacts include trauma, fires, disease, and chemical, sewage, and corpse contamination of air and water. Recent research has revealed that even a slow moving Category 3 hurricane could cause levee overflow and severe flooding. The resultant mix of sewage, corpses and chemicals in standing floodwaters could set the stage for massive disease outbreaks and prolonged chemical exposure."



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