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Thousands Being Evacuated in New Orleans Amid Chaos, Confusion

  • VOA News

Thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina are still being evacuated from New Orleans, a flood-ravaged and now chaotic city, as refugees continue urgent pleas for food and water.

President Bush, leaving the White House Friday to tour New Orleans and other affected Gulf Coast areas, said tons of food and water are on the way. He called the disaster response unacceptable.

Tens of thousands of people were in the New Orleans convention center and Superdome sports arena for shelter from the battering storm and flooding. Sanitary conditions there quickly deteriorated.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin blasted the federal response to the disaster in a radio interview Thursday, making an urgent plea for reinforcements and aid. Many refugees say they have been without food, medicine and water since the storm hit Monday.

12,000 refugees were bussed 560 kilometers from the Superdome to Houston's Astrodome in Texas, which is now filled to capacity. Refugees are now being sent elsewhere.

Large fires rage though New Orleans, and looting and reports of violence by armed refugees continue. Bodies of elderly people who died during the ordeal are lying in the open.

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