Friday, September 02, 2005

Disasters That Seem Worlds Apart

Officials Struggle to Reverse a Growing Sense of Anarchy

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 1 - National Guard troops moved in force into this storm-ravaged city today as state and local officials struggled to reverse a growing sense of anarchy sparked by reports of armed looters, bodies floating untended in stagnant floodwaters, and food and water supplies dwindling for thousands of trapped and desperate residents.

The police superintendent, Eddie Compass, estimated that perhaps 100 armed people were inside the convention center and that he was considering a plan to restore order there with a force of perhaps 500 police officers and national guardsmen.

Mr. Compass said that some stranded tourists who had sought shelter at the convention center instead found trouble. "The tourists are walking around there and as soon as these individuals see them, they're being preyed upon," he said.

In New Orleans, those who did not make it to the Superdome tried to find shelter in any structure that was still standing. Outside, looters brazenly ripped open gates and ransacked stores for food, clothing, television sets, computers, jewelry and guns, often in full view of helpless law-enforcement officials. Dozens of carjackings, apparently by survivors desperate to escape, were reported, as were a number of shootings.
World stunned as US struggles with Katrina
Sep 02 10:08 AM US/Eastern

By Andrew Gray

LONDON (Reuters) - The world has watched amazed as the planet's only superpower struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with some saying the chaos has exposed flaws and deep divisions in American society.

World leaders and ordinary citizens have expressed sympathy with the people of the southern United States whose lives were devastated by the hurricane and the flooding that followed.

But many have also been shocked by the images of disorder beamed around the world -- looters roaming the debris-strewn streets and thousands of people gathered in New Orleans waiting for the authorities to provide food, water and other aid.

"Anarchy in the USA" declared Britain's best-selling newspaper The Sun.

"Apocalypse Now" headlined Germany's Handelsblatt daily.

"I am absolutely disgusted. After the tsunami our people, even the ones who lost everything, wanted to help the others who were suffering," said Sajeewa Chinthaka, 36, as he watched a cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

"Not a single tourist caught in the tsunami was mugged. Now with all this happening in the U.S. we can easily see where the civilized part of the world's population is."


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