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Last Updated: Monday September 05 2005 17:31 GMT

Hotseat: Laura in the hurricane zone

Laura
Newsround's Laura is in Louisiana reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.

She answered your questions live on the message boards on Monday about the situation in and around New Orleans.

totallyme123: How many people altogether have been killed in Hurricane Katrina?

Laura Nobody knows how many people have died here. Officially they've managed to recover 59 bodies, but most people here expect the final death toll to be thousands.

One person today said it could even be as high as twenty thousand.

jozzyx: Will the Hurricane come to england? I am worried.

Laura

America is used to hurricanes. They are quite common in this part of the world, but they're not usually as big as this one.

We hardly ever get any extreme weather like this in the UK. Although there was a tornado in Birmingham last month, but that is very unusual.

hello: how can we help those who need help in new oreans and those who are affected?

Laura: The first aid flight left the UK this weekend, but there is a lot of aid in America already because it is a rich country and it's starting to get to people already.

Keano: Hi Laura, I was just thinking. How come reporters and journalists are allowed out there and are flown in, when the people currently in desparate need for help can't be flown out?

Laura: We flew in through an airport two hundred miles away from New Orleans and travelled down ourselves. The problem is not getting to New Orleans , but getting people out.

There are plenty of busses and trucks around, but getting them organised is a big job, and can be very difficult.

Journalists have to go to dangerous places to tell everyone about it, so they can do something about it.

$faumous*starsún*straps$: Hi Laura, was it sad seeing what was left in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina struck?

Laura: It's very sad. It's always hard arriving somewhere where something terrible has happened.

I've never been here before, but a lot of the houses look very pretty.

Seeing trees and housed knocked down is terrible, and seeing people's possesions ruined is terrible.

EdgeHeaD: What is the atmosphere like in places that have taken in refugees?

Laura: We were at an evacuation centre in Baton Rouge yesterday. The atmosphere is better than it has been, but still tense.

There are thousands of people without enough toilets, showers or privacy. It's very difficult, although there is enough food.

There have been problems with guns, but people are making the best of it.

Strangely, the children seem to be having a laugh, and have made new friends, but it seems tougher for their parents.

missymagoo: I've just been watching the news and reading through the newspapers and things seem really bad. Are things starting to get any better and are people getting water and food now?

Laura: Things are definitely getting better. When we arrived on Thursday, people didn't have food, water, electricity or petrol.

There are still a lot of people trapped in their homes, but it is improving. The President has been criticised for not helping quickly enough, but it is improving.

I have to go now, so thanks very much for all your e-mails. People here are happy to know you are thinking of them.

Laura x



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