New Orleans still vulnerable to flooding

New Orleans remains vulnerable to devastating flooding, a risk-analysis group has found more than one year after Hurricane Katrina submerged the city.

The report "Flood Risk in New Orleans: Implications for Future Management and Insurability" recommends city planners should prepare for a future "more hazardous" than the past, Risk Management Solutions (RMS) said.

Rising sea levels caused by global warming, increased hurricane activity and the city’s unstable foundations point to an ongoing threat from storm surge flooding throughout the 21st century, the California-based group said.

"While this report concerns a single city along the US Gulf Coast, the devastation caused by storm surge and flooding in New Orleans can be seen as a parable of our time," said RMS president Hemant Shah.

New Orleans’ location on Mississippi delta sediments along the edge of the Gulf of Mexico oceanic basin has left the city sinking at a geologically rapid rate, the study said.

Around 1,500 people were killed and hundreds of thousands from were left homeless after violent storm surges caused by Katrina breached levees and left 80 percent of the city underwater in September 2005.

Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse

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