Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Before Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest hurricane to make landfall in the United States during the previous 50 years was Hurricane Audrey (1957), with an estimated 416 deaths.2 Hurricane Andrew (1995), the last category 5 hurricane to strike the United States, caused 26 deaths.2 Although several preliminary estimates exist of the deaths attributable to Hurricane Katrina, 1,3,4 no prior report has systematically reviewed all of the available death databases to accurately document Hurricane Katrina mortality in Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina Deaths, Louisiana, 2005 - Volume 2 Issue 4. The majority of these people (n = 82, 64%) were recovered during the second and third weeks after the storm (September 5–19, 2005). OKAMURA, Jiro Hyer, Kathy Seven deaths occurred in the 2 days preceding the storm and 4 deaths occurred after October 31, 2005 (Fig. His death certificate specified drowning while trying to save a family member who resided in the greater New Orleans area as the cause of death. U.S. Army engineers pumped the last of the floodwaters out of the city on October 11, 2005, some 43 days after Katrina made landfall. The study protocol was reviewed by the human subjects coordinator at the Office of Workforce and Career Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and determined to be a public health response that did not require further human subjects review. Ultimately, the storm caused more than $160 billion in damage, and the population of New Orleans fell by 29 percent between the fall of 2005 and 2011. Corrections? There are many different conclusions on how many people actually died. Similarly, small numbers of observations (n ≤ 5) in our stratified analyses of race/ethnicity within age groups in St Bernard and Jefferson Parishes limited our ability to assess potential associations between demographic characteristics and mortality. Total loading time: 0.36 The city seemed to have escaped most of the catastrophic wind damage and heavy rain that had been predicted. The hurricane and its aftermath claimed more than 1,800 lives, … and Excess mortality in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: A preliminary report, Atlantic hurricanes and natural variability in 2005,,,,, The majority of deaths had multiple hierarchical cause-of-death classifications; however, if trauma, injury, or drowning was listed as a contributing cause of death, these victims were categorized as drowning or injury victims in our database. The National Guard searching for survivors in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, August 2005. A systematic review of all of the records in the DMORT database and of Louisiana death certificates yielded a final database of confirmed victims. There are at least 2 possible explanations for these findings. The day Katrina hit, he traveled to Arizona and … Brown, Lisa M. Achour, Nebil This report provides a conservative estimate of deaths that occurred in New Orleans and Louisiana associated with Hurricane Katrina. There were thousands of deaths in Orleans Parish, home of New Orleans, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite image of Hurricane Katrina, taken on August 28, 2005. Older black people in Orleans Parish, particularly men, were disproportionately represented relative to their underlying population distribution. OBJECTIVE Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, causing unprecedented damage to numerous communities in Louisiana and Mississippi. 2009. /NO. This study is subject to a number of limitations. Beim Wiederaufbau gewannen Unternehmensgründer und Touristen. These calculation complications are nothing new. In the days following Hurricane Katrina, multiple large hospitals in New Orleans flooded and were reportedly operating without power or sanitation services in extreme heatReference Brinkley5 while ambient temperatures in the greater New Orleans area were ≥90°F (32°C) during the days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina.6 As a result of rapidly deteriorating conditions in the New Orleans hospitals and extreme difficulties in evacuating their existing patients, hospitals in the downtown New Orleans area were reportedly not admitting new patients in the days following the storm.Reference Brinkley5 At least 70 hospital inpatients died in New Orleans hospitals, and an additional 57 storm victims' bodies were recovered from hospitals in the days immediately following the storm, indicating that their storm-related cause of death occurred in the hospital. In New Orleans, where much of the greater metropolitan area is below sea level, federal officials initially believed that the city had “dodged the bullet.” While New Orleans had been spared a direct hit by the intense winds of the storm, the true threat was soon apparent. It is also unknown whether the storm exacerbated preexisting medical conditions enough to lead to death. It is unknown whether these people would have died had the storm occurred or not. Our objectives were to verify, document, and characterize Katrina-related mortality in Louisiana and help identify strategies to reduce mortality in future disasters. Improving mortality reporting timeliness will enable response teams to provide appropriate interventions to these populations and to prepare and implement preventive measures before the next disaster. The final case definition for Katrina-related deaths in this analysis included all of the deaths in the DMORT database that were determined to be Katrina related, all Louisiana death certificates with victim of cataclysmic storm listed as the primary or a contributing cause of death, and out-of-state death certificates for Louisiana residents that were classified as related to Hurricane Katrina. } Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2008, Hostname: page-component-546c57c664-r9c2h Furthermore, the findings in this report are subject to at least three limitations. Ablah, Elizabeth Updates? Fifty-three percent of victims were men; 51% were black; and 42% were white. After Hurricane Katrina, which damaged more than 100 school buildings, the state seized control of almost all urban schools and turned them over to independent charter groups. Kategorie » Primary study. It continued on a course to the northeast, crossing the Mississippi Sound and making a second landfall later that morning near the mouth of the Pearl River. There is no particular person for whom Hurricane Katrina was named. Excluding the 15 out-of-state deaths, we found that of the 971 people who died in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Katrina, data on cause of death were available for 800 people. It was a very traumatizing storm and it killed many people. Victims died primarily in Orleans Parish (70%), St Bernard Parish (14%), Jefferson Parish (4%), and East Baton Rouge Parish (3%). A stand of trees killed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. From August 29 to September 3, 2005, at least 71 people died in nursing facilities in Orleans, St Bernard, and Jefferson Parishes, and an additional 7 bodies were recovered from nursing facilities in these parishes during the weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Incorporating DMORT data allowed us to identify 171 victims who were not classified as Katrina related in vital statistics/death certificate data, including 17 victims whom coroners were unable to identify by DNA matching or other methods. Adequate mortality reporting in disaster settings, particularly when infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, is vital to ensuring timely collection of mortality data. Prior to Hurricane Katrina the public school system of New Orleans was one of the lowest-performing districts in the state of Louisiana. Data on race/ethnicity were missing for 42 victims (4%), age was missing for 22 victims (2%), and sex was missing for 4 victims (<1%). To prevent hurricane-related mortality on this scale from occurring in the future, disaster preparedness efforts must focus on evacuating and caring for older people, including those residing in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and personal residences. Drowning (40%), injury and trauma (25%), and heart conditions (11%) were the major causes of death among Louisiana victims. Hyer, Kathryn "Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared," Page 37. However, tens of thousands of residents could not or would not leave. 2010. On September 6, local police estimated that there were fewer than 10,000 residents left in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005 as a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, causing unprecedented damage to numerous Louisiana and Mississippi communities.Reference Knabb, Rhome and Brown1 During the hours and days after Hurricane Katrina, breaches in the levee infrastructure resulted in flooding throughout approximately 80% of New Orleans. The majority of these deaths occurred in Eastern Orleans Parish, specifically the lower ninth ward; in Lakeview and Gentilly, adjacent to Lake Pontchartrain; and in St Bernard Parish (Figs. Accessed Jan. 28, 2020. Brown, Lisa M. * Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 6th January 2021. Xiong, Xu 2011. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The hurricane and its aftermath claimed more than 1,800 lives, and it ranked as the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. 2010. When Hurricane Katrina first made landfall in Florida between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, it was a category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. Results: We identified 971 Katrina-related deaths in Louisiana and 15 deaths among Katrina evacuees in other states. Feature Flags last update: Wed Jan 06 2021 17:23:48 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time) Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Clum, Gretchen A. When Katrina made landfall on August 29 near New Orleans on the U.S. Gulf Coast, it brought widespread destruction and flooding with it. 2009. and and The deaths described in this report are not representative of Katrina-related deaths. Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures resulted in the deaths of at least 986 Louisiana residents. 2011. Our objectives were to verify and document the number of deaths from Hurricane Katrina among people in Louisiana at the time of the storm and to characterize the storm's mortality burden by victim demographics, geographic location, timeline, and cause of death. The majority of Hurricane Katrina--related deaths occurred in Louisiana and Mississippi . First, a universally accepted standard definition of a hurricane-related death has not been established. Deaths Directly Caused by Hurricane Katrina Poppy Markwell (MPH) and Raoult Ratard (MD, MPH) Abstract Objective: Previous studies have used multiple death databases to estimate the death toll of Louisiana residents from Hurricane Katrina; however, these studies did not incorporate autopsy reports as a data source. Of note, only 4 storm victims were Asian, although Asians make up 2% of the Orleans Parish population and 1% of the overall Louisiana population.7 Although Hispanic/Latino and Asian race/ethnic groups appear to have been less affected by storm mortality relative to their proportional population size, victim numbers in these groups are small, limiting statistical interpretation. The majority of hurricane victims lived in Orleans Parish (73%), followed by St Bernard (17%), Jefferson (5%), Plaquemines (1%), and St Tammany Parishes (1%). Our objectives were to verify, document, and characterize Katrina-related mortality in Louisiana and help identify strategies to reduce mortality in future disasters. Forty-nine percent of victims were people 75 years old and older. Race-specific mortality rates were also higher among blacks 55 to 64 years old in St Bernard Parish and 75 years old and older in Jefferson Parish, but results from race- and age-specific stratified analyses in these 2 parishes are limited by small number of observations (n ≤ 5). Nelson, H. Wayne United States Geological Survey. }. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, Hurricane Katrina Deaths, Louisiana, 2005, Among the 971 Hurricane Katrina victims who died in Louisiana, 512 (53%) were men; 498 (51%) were black (non-Hispanic/Latino); 403 (42%) were white (non-Hispanic/Latino), and 18 (2%) were Hispanic/Latino (Table 2). Hodge, James G. "crossMark": true, Mor, Vincent Berman, Amy and In large-scale high-mortality disasters, DMORTs should be considered as an additional data source to better document mortality. Tran, Tri 2010. Salloum, Alison Authors' Disclosures The authors report no conflicts of interest. and 1). "Hurricane Katrina Deaths, Louisiana, 2005." Sixty-five percent of Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana died of injury or drowning. Water, food, and other supplies should be available to maximize the likelihood that patients using ventilators and other life-support interventions will survive if a similar emergency situation occurs. Johnson, Jennifer 2 and 3). At least 986 people in Louisiana died as a result of Hurricane Katrina, making it the deadliest hurricane to strike the US Gulf Coast in more than 75 years. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by,, Science Kids - Fun Science and Technology for Kids! We calculated age-, race-, and sex-specific mortality rates for Orleans, St Bernard, and Jefferson Parishes, where 95% of Katrina victims resided and conducted stratified analyses by parish of residence to compare differences between observed proportions of victim demographic characteristics and expected values based on 2000 US Census data, using Pearson chi square and Fisher exact tests. Thomas, Kali Children and younger adults were underrepresented among storm victims relative to their proportional population size. The clearest association with Katrina in our review of out-of-state death certificates was 1 person whose body was found in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast. Drowning (40%), injury and trauma (25%), and heart conditions (11%) were the major causes of death among Louisiana victims. 2011. Our objectives were to verify, document, and characterize Katrina-related mortality in Louisiana and help identify strategies to reduce mortality in future disasters. The state coroner's office received 446 death certificates from 26 states and the District of Columbia for Louisiana residents who died from August 27 to October 1, 2005 and other death certificates that coroners' offices deemed worthy of consideration for potential association with Hurricane Katrina. FIGURE 2 Location of Hurricane Katrina deaths, southeast Louisiana, 2005 (N = 687), FIGURE 3 Location of Hurricane Katrina deaths, Orleans Parish, 2005. 2011. "Pet Preparedness." Lanier, William L. Of 799 deaths in vital statistics records in which date of death was recorded, 650 (81%) occurred on August 29, 2005. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. 2009. 2010. Hurricane Katrina surfaced around the Bahamas on August 23, 2005. and Overstreet, Stacy The most dramatic difference occurred among people 75 years old and older (Pearson chi square [χ2] 2400; degrees of freedom (df) = 1; P < .0001; Table 3). By the time the storm strengthened to a category 3 hurricane, winds exceeded 115 miles per hour. and In Orleans Parish, the mortality rate among blacks was 1.7 to 4 times higher than that among whites for all people 18 years old and older. In both St Bernard and Jefferson Parishes, the sex and racial distributions of Katrina victims were not significantly different (P > .05) from census population figures for those parishes, except for Hispanic/Latino victims in St Bernard Parish (P = .03; Table 2). Hurricane Katrina not only left more than 1,800 human deaths in its wake, it also rendered thousands homeless as more than 800,000 housing units were destroyed or damaged in the storm. "metricsAbstractViews": false, "comments": true, Gerber, Thomas C. "relatedCommentaries": true, 08 April 2013. It was not until September 2 that an effective military presence was established in the city and National Guard troops mobilized to distribute food and water. Katrina hit many places in its path, leaving people with absolutely nothing. "lang": "en" and This infographic details Katrina's path and devastating impact. At least 70 people who were classified as hospital inpatients died during the period August 29, 2005 to September 2, 2005, in New Orleans hospitals and an additional 57 victims were recovered from New Orleans hospitals and brought to the DMORT facility from September 5 to 12, 2005. Accessed Jan. 28, 2020. Dosa, David Although unlikely to be a large number, it is possible that some people who died during the storm were never found or documented. Hurricane Katrina deaths, Louisiana, 2005. DMORT is a federal response team that provides assistance with mortuary activities during disaster situations. 2008. Three people have died following Hurricane Zeta's landfall in southeast Louisiana Wednesday. Brown, Lisanne One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the United States, Laura was blamed for 14 deaths as it barreled across Louisiana and parts of Texas. People 75 years old and older were significantly more likely to be storm victims (P < .0001). for this article. "metrics": true, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hurricane Katrina led to widespread flooding in southeastern Louisiana when the levee system that held back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne was completely overwhelmed by 10 inches of rain and Katrina’s storm surge. The levee system that held back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne had been completely overwhelmed by 10 inches (25 cm) of rain and Katrina’s storm surge. Johnson, Carolyn C. Other victim races included Asian (n = 4), American Indian (n = 4), and other (n = 1). Objective: Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, causing unprecedented damage to numerous communities in Louisiana and Mississippi. After levees and flood walls protecting New Orleans failed, much of the city was underwater. Galea, Sandro "isLogged": "0", The authors thank D. Bensyl, W.R. Daley, and D. Koo for useful comments on the manuscript. President Bush was otherwise occupied during this time. "subject": true, Deaths. and According to the National Hurricane Center, 1,836 people lost their lives as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Records with only a nursing facility name were matched to the address of the nursing facility in the Homeland Security Infrastructure Program Public Health, Nursing Home geospatial layer. West, Jill Feature Flags: { Including all deaths classified as indeterminate (DMORT, n = 23; and out-of-state, n = 431) yields an upper bound estimate of 1440. The hurricane that struck Puerto Rico in September was responsible for more deaths than the Sept. 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina combined, according … Hurricane Katrina, tropical cyclone that struck the southeastern United States in late August 2005. Another 20,000 people gathered at the Convention Center for assistance, an evacuation site the federal government was unaware of until three days after the storm. Konda, Kurt Of these 129 people, 80 (62%) were recovered before September 15, 2005. Jünger und weißer: Hurrikan „Katrina“ hat vor zehn Jahren der schwarzen Mittelschicht schwer geschadet. Hurricane Katrina Project- Casualties (4a) Period 4 Gatfield. Hurricane Katrina was a tropical cyclone that struck the southeastern United States in late August 2005. Of the 446 deaths, only 15 people were classified as Katrina-related deaths by a state coroner and thus included in our final mortality count. She was a homemaker and a native of Blount County, Alaska. TABLE 1 Cause of Death: Katrina-Related Mortality in Louisiana, 2005. Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. In Orleans Parish, where the majority of victims lived and died, all age categories of victims (except those 45–54 years old) were divergent from the overall parish age distribution of the population. Lavie, Carl J. It is likely that both factors contributed to the disproportionate representation of people 75 years old and older among Katrina victims. Hurricane Katrina death data from Louisiana vital statistics first became available approximately 2 years after the storm. and By September 1 an estimated 30,000 people were seeking shelter under the damaged roof of the Superdome, and an additional 25,000 had gathered at the Convention Center. Descriptive and inferential statistics were calculated using Stata version 9.1 (StataCorp LP, College Station, TX). Three hundred eighty-seven victims drowned, and 246 people sustained trauma or injuries severe enough to cause their deaths. Inside eyewall of Hurricane Katrina shortly before the storm struck Louisiana, August 2005. Taylor, Eve Burkle, Frederick M. There were many decisions in the series of events leading to the storm that contributed to the high death toll. The date the body was found was available for 129 of 171 people that appear only in the DMORT database. 2011. The mechanism of injury was unspecified for 226 trauma or injury deaths; specified injury-related causes of death included heat exposure (n = 6), unintentional firearms death (n = 4), homicide (n = 2), suicide (n = 4), gas poisoning (n = 3), and electrocution (n = 1; Table 1). Our total mortality estimate of 986 victims likely represents a lower bound estimate for Katrina mortality in Louisiana. Hayashi, Jennifer All deaths occurring before August 29, 2005 and after October 1, 2005 were reviewed to verify that Hurricane Katrina was listed as a contributing cause of death, and all of the deaths occurring after September 23, 2005 were reviewed to determine whether they were associated with Hurricane Rita, which struck southwest Louisiana on September 24, 2005. Drowning and injury-related deaths occurred predominantly near levee infrastructure breaches. YASUDA, Goro and Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.It was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the third-strongest landfalling U.S. hurricane on record. Chi square and Fisher exact tests assessing differences in proportions of black and white victims within age groups found that blacks were significantly more likely to be storm victims than whites in all age group categories 30 years old and older in Orleans Parish (P < .05). Conclusions: Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest hurricane to strike the US Gulf Coast since 1928. On the morning of August 29, the storm made landfall as a category 4 hurricane at Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, approximately 45 miles (70 km) southeast of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina Deaths, Louisiana, 2005 2 Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness VOL. George W. Bush surveying the damage to New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina as he heads to Washington, D.C., aboard Air Force One, August 31, 2005. "hasAccess": "1", If all the debris from Hurricane Katrina were stacked on a football field, the pile would reach over ten miles high. Future disaster preparedness efforts must focus on evacuating and caring for vulnerable populations, including those in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and personal residences. Czajkowski, Jeffrey Older adults were clearly the most affected population cohort during Hurricane Katrina, particularly people 75 years old and older, who made up 49% of victims in Louisiana, whereas their age cohort represents fewer than 6% of both the greater New Orleans and the overall Louisiana population. TABLE 3 Place of Death or Where Body Was Found (N = 877). The majority of the 446 out-of-state deaths were from chronic medical conditions, primarily heart disease, respiratory disease, and cancer. More than 25% of victims (n = 262) were found in other locations, including roadways, the New Orleans airport, the Convention Center, and the Superdome. Doc, Nurses Arrested In Katrina Deaths July 18, 2006 / 9:45 AM / CBS/AP A doctor and two nurses who worked through the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina were arrested … Lawry, Lynn The role of Hurricane Katrina in the majority of the 446 out-of-state deaths will probably never be clearly delineated because coroners in different states may have used different criteria for classifying victims as storm related. The 15 deaths with victim of cataclysmic storm or other Katrina-related indications on their death certificates almost certainly represent a lower bound estimate of out-of-state deaths among Louisiana Katrina evacuees. The evacuation of hurricane victims continued, and crews began to rebuild the breached levees. The 2,975 figure would make Maria the second-deadliest hurricane in U.S. history, killing more people than 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,833 people. 2010. Fewer than 10% of victims were younger than 45 years old. Approximately 50% of the people who died as a result of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana were 75 years old and older. 109th Congress, 2nd Session. Instituting an electronic reporting system for recording death certificates would aid with timely use of data for both government and community preparedness and disaster response efforts.Reference Stephens, Grew and Chin8 Alternately, if existing technological infrastructure is unavailable, active mortality surveillance efforts should be initiated immediately to document deaths in the early stages of rescue and recovery responses, not only to aid with accurate mortality reporting and victim identification but also to mobilize needed resources (eg, body bags, mobile laboratories, morgues) in a timely manner. Hiete, Michael The majority of out-of-state deaths occurred in Texas (221, 50%), followed by Alabama (47, 11%) and Mississippi (43, 10%). Christmas, Colleen 2009. First, the disaster response aftermath of Hurricane Katrina may have limited the ability to precisely document all deaths. Kelley, Crystal L. and We further stratified by race within each age category, where sufficient observations existed, to determine whether there was an age-specific effect of race among victims. Data on race/ethnicity were missing for 42 victims (4%), age was missing for 22 victims (2%), and sex was missing for 4 victims ( 1%). Hurricane Katrina, tropical cyclone that struck the southeastern United States in late August 2005. Data sources included the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) database and death certificates collected through Louisiana vital statistics and out-of-state coroners' offices. Projections of a sustained or intensifying cycle of Atlantic Ocean hurricane activity throughout the coming decades9, Reference Trenberth and Shea10 and the unprecedented landfall of 2 category 5 storms (Dean and Felix) during the 2007 hurricane season underscore the critical need for all levels of government to be ready to evacuate and care for vulnerable populations during future storms. Hurricane Katrina Memorial Site View All 906 Memorials for the Hurricane Katrina Site In late August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept across Florida before touching land again in the Gulf Coast. Areas east of the Industrial Canal were the first to flood; by the afternoon of August 29, some 20 percent of the city was underwater. Seventeen out-of-state deaths (4%) occurred among Calcasieu Parish residents, likely Hurricane Rita evacuees. However, stratified analyses evaluating the effect of race within age groups revealed that the dominant effect of age on overall storm mortality masked the differential effect of race in most age groups in Orleans Parish, where race-specific mortality rates were on average 2.5 times higher among blacks compared with whites. Kennedy, Emily Buekens, Pierre Fifty-three percent of victims were men; 51% were black; and 42% were white. Many local agencies found themselves unable to respond to the increasingly desperate situation, as their own headquarters and control centres were under 20 feet (6 metres) of water. Out-of-state death certificates of Louisiana residents during the period of August 27 to October 1, 2005, and others that state coroners deemed worth consideration for potential association with Hurricane Katrina were forwarded to the Louisiana coroner's office from coroners' offices in 26 states and the District of Columbia. This data will be updated every 24 hours. Of these, 15 were clearly related to Hurricane Katrina, and 431 were classified as indeterminate because no indication of hurricane association was listed on the death certificate.