The situation in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to deteriorate as efforts to evacuate survivors continue. Looting continues and rescue teams have come under attack from snipers as hospitals and shelters run out of food and supplies. Meanwhile, there are reports that storm victims are being raped and beaten by mobs at the New Orleans Convention Center (being used as a secondary shelter). Police have been unable to restore order and Mayor Ray Nagin issued a “desperate SOS” for outside help.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency halted all boat rescues after armed looters threatened medics and overturned a boat. Additionally, the evacuation of Charity Hospital was halted after doctors and National Guard troops came under fire from a sniper. There are reports that a National Guard rescue helicopter was also fired upon. New Orleans Police and National Guard troops are struggling to maintain law and order without electricity or communication equipment in a paralyzed city.