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New Orleans evacuates as Gustav nears Sunday, 31 August, 2008

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Press TV – New Orleans evacuates as Gustav nears.

Residents wait to board buses to evacuate New Orleans

New Orleans residents have begun to evacuate the city as the ‘storm of the century’ takes aim at the Louisiana coast in southern US.

New Orleans mayor, Ray Nagin, has ordered the mandatory evacuation of more than 239,000 residents in order to avoid a replay of the 2005 Katrina catastrophe.

On August 29, 2005, the city of New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina – a Category 3 storm.

Katrina, the third-strongest hurricane ever to hit the US, caused more than 1,600 deaths, while flooding about 85 percent of the city.

Calling Gustav ‘the mother of all storms’, Nagin urged citizens not commit ‘one of the biggest mistakes’ of their life by seeking to ride out the storm.

“This is not the one to play with,” he said. (more…)

Bodies floating off Florida Keys baffle authorities Friday, 29 August, 2008

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Bodies floating off Florida Keys baffle authorities – CNN.com.

By Patrick Oppmann

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Currents, tides and Tropical Storm Fay scattered the bodies over 30 miles along the Florida Keys in just a few days.

One of the four bodies found last week was floating off this stretch of Plantation Key.

One of the four bodies found last week was floating off this stretch of Plantation Key.

The only thing the authorities in the Keys can say for sure is that four corpses were found floating offshore a week ago. The men carried no identification, said the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating.

Authorities believe that the men started out together, perhaps on the same boat. But it will not be easy to determine who they were, much less how they wound up in the water, where they may have spent three days. Their bodies showed signs that sharks had fed on them.

Were they migrants who died trying to reach the United States? Victims of Tropical Storm Fay? Or the body count from a vendetta among drug smugglers?

“The possibilities are pretty wide open at this point,” said Becky Herrin, the sheriff’s spokeswoman. (more…)