Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Thousands still missing in the wake of Katrina
The whereabouts of 6,644 people reported missing after Hurricane Katrina have not been determined, raising the prospect that the death toll could be higher than the 1,306 recorded so far in Louisiana and Mississippi, according to two groups working with the federal government to account for victims.One of the things about this that is truly troubling (aside from missing and dead children) is how the dead are being found. Earlier from USAToday, La. toll rises as evacuees find dead in return to homes
Kym Pasqualini [chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing Adults] says those counting the victims are particularly concerned about an estimated 1,300 unaccounted-for people who lived in areas that were heavily damaged by Katrina, or who were disabled at the time the storm hit. The fact that authorities haven't been able to determine what happened to them suggests that the death toll from Katrina could climb significantly...Nearly 1,000 of the 6,644 unaccounted-for people are children.
"Some people are just now getting back to their homes and to the homes of their relatives," [the coroner in greater New Orleans, Frank] Minyard said. "The bodies are still coming in."I agree with Mr Stephens, this isn't fair. But are we expecting the poor minorities in this country to be treated fairly? We should be able to, but that would seem out of place. Ahh, maybe with a change in leadership, that might just become a fair expectation.
When Louisiana ended its door-to-door search Oct. 3, the number of Katrina-related deaths there stood at 972...Louisiana's decision to end the official search for victims last month triggered harsh criticism from Jack Stephens, sheriff of ravaged St. Bernard Parish, east of New Orleans. He said state authorities never completely searched some of the most heavily damaged areas where many elderly residents lived when Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29.
"For people to come home to that damage and then to make that gruesome discovery — that doesn't seem fair to me," Stephens said.
As Anderson Cooper reported
DORNIN: Since November 1, 10 bodies have been found in the ruins of the Ninth Ward. The last area, known as the Lower Ninth, will open to residents December 1. Coroner Frank Minyard worries about what people will find.
(on camera): You're fully expecting that more bodies will come in once they open the Ninth Ward?
FRANK MINYARD, ORLEANS PARISH CORONER: Yes. And I think it's -- it's going to come in for a good while. There's so much rubbish around that they might find people in the rubbish.