U.S. Aid Effort Criticized in New Orleans

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

hide captionSecretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff says relief efforts are hampered by an inability to transfer resources. Thursday, Chertoff spoke at a Preparedness event with Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.

Reuters

Days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall east of New Orleans, thousands remain stranded in the city, many without food or fresh water. The city's mayor has issued what he called an "Urgent SOS" for help.

Heavily armed National Guard troops evacuated people from the squalid conditions of the damaged Superdome; the evacuees are being bused to the Astrodome in Houston.

But it has now emerged that people stranded at the New Orleans Convention Center — about eight blocks away from the Superdome — are in dire straights, lacking basic essentials and avoiding corpses and waste on the streets.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is overseeing the biggest recovery operation in U.S. history. President Bush is proposing $10 billion in relief for the area.

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