Katrina kills 55 in USA's jazz capital, New Orleans

Katrina enter the top four of most powerful hurricanes that have ever been registered in the region before

At least 55 people were killed in the powerful Katrina hurricane, which lashed New Orleans in the state of Louisiana. Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are the states which suffered most from the strike of the raging storm, AP reports.

About 50 people were killed in the storm in the Harrison County of Louisiana alone. According to the county's emergency operations center chairman, Jim Pollard, the people were mostly killed in the residential area in the town of Biloxi, Itar Tass says.

Falling trees killed at least three in Mississippi; the wind speed was reaching 200 km/h. Two people died in a car accident in Alabama, which was also caused by the storm. Three elderly Americans were killed during the evacuation of a convalescent home in Louisiana's largest city, New Orleans. Supposedly, the people died because of dehydration.

Katrina Hurricane lashes USA's coast: Photo gallery

Several residential areas in towns and cities situated in the disastrous area were flooded as a result of the storm. The water level in the streets of New Orleans exceeds three meters, CNN says.

"The state has suffered a grievous blow on the coast," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said. The governor said that the hurricane could cause even more fatalities, for its trajectory and power resembles Camille Hurricane, which killed over 140 people in 1969. "It came in on Mississippi like a tonne of bricks. It's a terrible storm," said Barbour. Buildings that survived 1969's Hurricane Camille - and its 190 mph winds - succumbed to Katrina,” Reuters quoted the governor as saying.

Vast territories in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were left without telephone connection. Cellular providers and long-distance communication companies report the breakdown of generators units and antennas. No one knows for the time being when it is possible to start repairing works.

Katrina brought 8.5 meter waves and 75 cm of precipitation. The pressure in the epicenter of the hurricane makes up 902 mb, which makes Katrina enter the top four of most powerful hurricanes that have ever been registered in the region before. The 1935 Labor Day hurricane killed some 600 people in Florida. The hurricane had the minimum pressure of 892 mb. The lower the pressure, the stronger the wind – this is a peculiarity of Katrina hurricane.

Waterford nuclear power plant near New Orleans was put to a standstill on account of the approaching hurricane. Spokespeople for the facility's management said that the personnel had taken all necessary security measures when stopping the nuclear reactors.

The hurricane will inevitably cause floods in coastal areas in the south-east of the USA, which sit below the sea level.

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Author`s name Olga Savka