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Friday, September 02, 2005

Death toll could rise to 10,000

Very sombering news but looking at the way things are right now, that figure seems realistic.

From the AP
US Senator David Vitter said that the death toll from Hurricane Katrina could top 10,000 in Louisiana alone.

"My guess is that it will start at 10,000, but that is only a guess," Vitter said, adding that he was not basing his remarks on any official death toll or body count.

Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, also called for the immediate deployment of regular US combat troops in New Orleans, saying the build-up of National Guard troops was too slow to quickly restore order.

Five-thousand National Guard troops are expected to be on the ground in violence-wracked New Orleans by late Friday, military leaders said.

But Vitter said that timeline could be too slow, amid reports that bands of armed men are roaming the streets in the city, which is 80 percent submerged in floods brought in by a storm tide after the hurricane hit on Monday.

Vitter, speaking to reporters at the emergency response center in Baton Rouge, also said he gave the federal government a grade 'F' for its response to the disaster so far.