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New Orleans nach Katrina 10. Jahrestag
Image: Getty Images/J. Raedle

New Orleans marks decade since Katrina

August 30, 2015

Events have been held in New Orleans to mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which killed 1,800 people and left thousands homeless. Failures in the levee system left 80 percent of the city under water.


Church bells rang out in unison across Mississippi and Louisiana to mark the region's recovery from the hurricane and flooding, which caused $151 billion (135 billion euros) in damage.

Some 80 percent of New Orleans, a low-lying coastal city, was swallowed up by flooding, after its poorly-built levee burst from the pressure of a massive storm surge.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke on Saturday to 400 dignitaries at the memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified dead of the disaster. "New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken. We're still standing after 10 years," he said.

"We know that even as New Orleans is rebuilding, there are those who are grieving the deaths of their mothers, their fathers, their sisters. I want those families to know that our thoughts are with them," Governor Bobby Jindal said.

Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour praised the 954,000 people who volunteered in Mississippi in the first five years after the storm to help with the recovery. Many "thought it was God's command to try to help people in need," Barbour said.

There have been a series of events in New Orleans over the last week showing improvements in the levee defenses against flooding. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, in office during the disaster, visited the city.

Bush, who faced intense criticism for his handling of the crisis, said he was moved by the city's determination to "rebuild better than before."

On Saturday there were speeches from local leaders and a parade with music. Former President Bill Clinton was to lead a prayer service and concert celebration at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

jm/jr (Reuters, AP)

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