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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
Storm blogs offer Katrina insight
House destroyed by Hurricane Katrina
The hurricane has wreaked havoc along the US Gulf coast
The web has once again proved its worth as a news source as blogs offered a vivid description of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

As the storm carved a path through southern US, weblogs provided first-hand accounts of those affected.

Mainstream media outlets in New Orleans found the web an invaluable asset as their offices were flooded.

Web tracking firm Technorati reported that seven of the top 10 search terms were hurricane-related on Tuesday.

According to internet measurement firm Keynote Systems, some websites were unable to cope with demand for Katrina-related news.

Wikipedia, the user-generated net encyclopaedia, provided video coverage of the hurricane and regularly updated reports on the storms history and effects.

New Orleans sinking
Water appears about knee deep, whipped by the steady wind into whitecaps and breakers
Jon Donley, NOLA.com

It was not a news story entirely dominated by citizen-led news and images as the London terrorist attacks had been.

In fact some of the best coverage came from media outlets utilising the power of the web.

CBS affiliate WWL-TV turned to its news blog to provide constant bulletins on the hurricane's progress as it was forced to abandon its News Orleans studios due to rising waters.

New Orleans's daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune published only in digital format on Tuesday.

Reporters joined with colleagues on its affiliated website NOLA.com to produce stories about the hurricane.

NOLA.com editor Jon Donley described in detail his view of the storm.

"Water appears about knee deep, whipped by the steady wind into whitecaps and breakers," he said on the newspaper's blog on Tuesday morning.

"New Orleans is sinking...I don't want to swim," he wrote.

The website also offered a community bulletin board for affected citizens to discuss the state of their neighbourhood and post messages for relatives caught up in the devastation.

A similar site - Katrinacheck-in.org - was rapidly set up to allow people to both reassure worried relatives that they were safe and allow others to search for loved ones they hadn't been able to get in contact with.

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