Saturday, September 10, 2005

City officials said Friday that the death toll from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath may be far lower than originally feared, as troops and police shifted their attention from rescue of the living to recovery of those who died here in the past 11 days.

The mayor had warned previously that the number of dead in New Orleans could be as many as 10,000, but other city officials said Friday morning that initial sweeps of flooded and devastated neighborhoods suggested a total that would be less cataclysmic, if still tragic.

"Some of the catastrophic deaths some people have predicted may not have occurred," said Col. Terry Ebbert, the city's director of homeland security, declining to provide further details. "The numbers, so far, are relatively minor as compared with the dire predictions of 10,000."

No figures yet, but it could even be in the high triple-digits. Which is still terrible, of course.

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