Archive for natural disaster

A Tribute to the Displaced of New Orleans – Five Years Later

Posted in Awareness, Humanity, North America, Spotlight with tags , , , on August 22, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

On August 29, 2005, 18 to 25feet waves caused by Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. Before that day, New Orleans was a city with an unique culture. Like her native dish of gumbo, New Orleans developed her flavor from a blend of African, French, Spanish, Native American, Caribbean, and Acadian ancestry.

Known as ‘The Birthplace of Jazz’, a name she earned for her festivals, music, and swag. The rhythm of New Orleans was celebrated by local residents and tourist during:

  • Funerals
  • Mardi Gras
  • Satchmo Summer Fest
  • French Quarter Festival
  • Voodoo Music Experience
  • Live Music Clubs and Halls

Katrina was a category 5 hurricane. New Orleans was under a mandatory evacuation. About 1.3 million people lived in New Orleans, with 62.9% of African descent. Those with the means to transportation left the city; an estimated 150,000 remained. Those who remained lined up to weather the storm in the Louisiana Superdome. Stranded tourists went to the highest floors of their hotels. There was no federal or state aid to evacuate those who remained. For years before the hurricane, local officials had requested state aid to update the levies (similar to dams).

Five years after the massive evacuation over 100,000 people remain displaced. Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than 180,000 homes and much of the city’s infrastructure was destroyed. Up to 80% of New Orleans was underwater. Rebuilding has not created affordable homes for the displaced.

The lack of response to request to updated levies and the lack of evacuation aid for the poor, allowed a natural disaster to become a genocide attempt to the city. Much of New Orleans’ flavor has been ‘watered’ down. It has been a lost to the city.