Location: The Streets Of A New World Order
|Picture Of A Dead Woman
On Magazine Street (Photo Inside)
Suicides among New Orleans police,
NEW ORLEANS, United States (AFP) - Some
New Orleans police and firefighters were driven to suicide by
the trauma of trying to hold the city together in the
aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin said.
"Some firefighters and police officers have been
pretty much traumatized. And we've already had a couple of
suicides," Nagin told CNN.
Local emergency services
were overwhelmed by the level of destruction unleashed by
Katrina, and found themselves helpless as the city swiftly
descended into anarchy with widespread looting and violence.
Outnumbered and unable to deter the looters, a number
of police officers simply turned in their badges in disgust.
"They've been holding the city together for three or
four days, almost by themselves, doing everything imaginable,"
Nagin said, "and the toll is just too much for them."
The mayor said his main priority was to cycle the most
fatigued emergency personnel out of the city as soon as
"They need physical and psychological
evaluations," he added.
Once the evacuation of
hurricane survivors from the city had been completed, Nagin
said the next priority would be the grisly task of harvesting
the rotting corpses from the flooded streets and houses.
"We have to drain this city. We have to get these dead
bodies out of the water," he said, estimating that the death
toll would be in the thousands.
Nagin has been among
the most vocal critics of the government response to the
disaster that left 80 percent of New Orleans submerged.
He was especially angered by delays in bringing in
sufficient numbers of armed National Guardsmen to help secure
the city as the law and order situation broke down.
With the arrival of reinforcements in the last two
days, including thousands of active service troops, Nagin said
the security situation had improved but the overall picture
"I see the same thing I've been seeing
for six or seven days now. I see destruction. I see despair. I
see suffering. I see death," he said.