Hurricane katrina (2005) 29/8/05 – UN Report – Hurricane Katrina Katrina, a category four hurricane slammed into the southern state of Louisiana early Monday morning with winds at around 225 kph. The storm is continuing to weaken as it moves over land, but is still battering the region with winds of more than 160kph.

According the U.S. National Hurricane Centre, hurricane force winds are expected to spread as far as 200km inland along the storms path, and rainfall is expected to total between 10cm – 25cm. Significant damage and flooding is expected to result from storm surges, which could reach up to 6m above normal tide levels. This is of particular concern in low lying coastal areas.

The city of New Orleans is especially vulnerable as 70 percent of the city lies below sea level. According to local authorities, parts of city’s system of levees and pumps have failed, leaving portions of the city under 1.5m to 1.8m of water.

In the state of Mississippi, there are reports of up to 3m of water in some areas and extensive structural damage to buildings. It is expected that police and emergency workers will be able to enter the area late Monday afternoon to rescue stranded residents and assess damages.