Monday, September 20

Hurricane Ida claims second fatality in Louisiana

A man who drowned while driving through a flooded road in New Orleans (USA) is the second fatality from powerful Hurricane Ida, which made landfall last Sunday in southern Louisiana.

The state Department of Health said Monday that the man, whom it did not identify, died near I-10 and West End Boulevard.

The agency had announced on Sunday the death of another 60-year-old man after a tree fell at his home in Ascencion County, in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, the capital of Louisiana.

Both the president of the United States, Joe Biden, and the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, said last Monday that more fatalities are expected due to the cyclone as search and rescue efforts progress, especially in areas that have isolated due to flooding.

Ida, which has been degraded to a tropical depression, left floods, blackouts, completely isolated areas, destruction of infrastructure and road blockades.

The worst affected area was southeastern Louisiana, a state in which at least 1.1 million citizens remain without electricity, including the entire city of New Orleans.

The lack of service, which in some areas is expected to take days and even weeks to restore, worries local authorities due to the heat and saturation of hospitals due to the covid-19 pandemic.

President Biden said Monday that Ida, considered one of the most powerful hurricanes to make landfall in the country, caused “massive damage” during a virtual meeting with the governors and mayors of the affected areas.

The president announced that some 5,000 members of the National Guard had traveled to the affected area.

Governor Edwards assured that the “catastrophic” impact of the cyclone supposes a long-term recovery.

The first images of the week showed a terrible panorama with people in boats crossing flooded streets, trees uprooted, power lines downed, destruction in homes, offices and hospitals, highway closures due to debris and landslides on embankments.

The Red Cross established some 60 shelters, which have already housed about 2,500 people.

The cyclone, however, was a test for the new retaining walls in the vicinity of the city, which were able to stop the water from Lake Pontchartrain and prevent it from recurring. katrina nightmare which caused more than 1,800 deaths in the region, especially due to floods after the break of the levee in 2005.

Ida made landfall around noon Sunday at Port Fourchon, an oil port in the southern tip of Louisiana, and then made landfall again very close to there, at Galliano.

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