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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:05, October 06, 2005
Most dead bodies still unidentified five weeks after hurricane
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Five weeks after Hurricane Katrina slashed US Gulf Coast, most of those killed in the storm remain unidentified, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

With 972 deaths confirmed and corpse search declared complete, the hardest-hit southern state of Louisiana has so far released only 61 bodies and made the names of only 32 victims public.

On a national scale, the final tally of body count is 1212. However, for most of the dead, there is no accounting of age, sex, race, nor of how they died or where they were found.

Louisiana officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying that compiling and releasing data about the dead is not a priority, given the huge reconstruction tasks facing them.

They also said several factors, such as criminal investigations that have forced them to perform more autopsies than expected and the arrival of a second hurricane which once again displaced their staff, contribute to the delay.

Meanwhile, critics said the state has imposed too tough a standard on confirming the names of the victims.

Hurricane Katrina, which slashed the US Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, is one of the worst natural disasters in the country's history, killing at least 1212, displacing millions of people and costing the country up to 200 billion US dollars.

Source: Xinhua

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