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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:50, September 06, 2005
New Orleans residents urged to leave ravaged city
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Local authorities urged on Monday those who still remain in New Orleans, Louisiana, to leave the hurricane ravaged city, and warned of forcible evacuation if necessary.

"There is absolutely no reason to stay here. There are no jobs. There are no homes to go to. No hotels to go to and there is absolutely nothing here," the city's deputy police chief Warren Riley addressed a news conference here.

"This city has been destroyed and it's completely been destroyed," he said.

"No food or any reason for them to stay. There is no power, trees are down, power lines are down," said Riley.

The request came as relief workers prepared a massive operation to remove the bodies of victims of Hurricane Katrina which swept US Gulf Coast last Monday, leaving 80 percent of New Orleans under water and probably killing thousands.

The complete evacuation of New Orleans was necessary, officials said, citing the prospect of diseases caused by rotting bodies and polluted waters as well as other risks.

Riley said he was surprised to note that there were "still thousands of people" remaining in the city.

He did not give the number of bodies that had been recovered so far, saying: "It is growing, I can tell you that."

A week after Hurricane Katrina, only a few thousands were reportedly remained in the city, where over 400,000 used to live, according to General Russel Honore, who oversaw the military's relief efforts.

Speaking to ABC television during an interview, he said evacuations since the killer storm hit the region have reduced the once-bustling jazz capital's population to "something less than 10, 000."

"Much less than 10,000, I would believe," he said.

In Washington, the Pentagon said the US coast guard has rescued an estimated 18,000 people in the past week.

Among that, 11,000 people were rescued via boat from their homes in flooded New Orleans, and another 7,000 in dramatic lifts from roofs and the top storeys of homes.

Source: Xinhua

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