Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane death toll grows in US


Hurricane death toll grows in US

Flood waters were slowly receding in Houston,
the heart of the US oil industry [AFP]

The death toll in the US from Hurricane Ike has grown to 21 across nine states, even as Texas mounted its largest- ever rescue effort in the wake of the storm.

Despite ongoing clean-up operations, Houston, the state's largest city and the heart of the US oil industry, appeared unlikely to be back to business as usual on Monday.

Across the state, rescue teams continued to search through flooded homes on Sunday after Ike cut a swathe of destruction through Texas.

State and local officials urged the federal government to speed relief efforts, complaining that crucial supplies like ice and water were arriving too slowly.

"We expect Fema [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] to deliver these supplies, and we will hold them accountable," Bill White, the mayor of Houston, said.

Millions of people have been left without power following the storm.

Some two million people fled the region ahead of the storm while about 2,000 were rescued from flooded areas.

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