Louisiana Releases Details on Deaths From Hurricane Katrina and Later Flooding
Of the 905 bodies examined at the central morgue set up by federal officials, 511 have been released for burial. Half of those were black, and almost all of the rest were white, according to State Health Department statistics. The latest breakdown, conducted when 488 victims had been released, showed that 248 were men and 240 were women. Most of the deaths, 360, were in New Orleans.
Based on this story and the official numbers so far (PDF), there were just as many non-blacks in Southeast Louisiana killed in and after Katrina than blacks. Of the 690 bodies identified, 48% were black, 42% white, and 10% were something else or undetermined.
Even more interesting, is that these numbers are not even representative of the actual population of New Orleans. According to 2000 Census numbers, the city was 67% black, 28% white, and 5% something else. So not only did just as many non-blacks as blacks die, but proportionally more white people and others died than blacks, in fact by twice as much for “others.”
This is obviously preliminary information and not an exact comparison as we only have general Louisiana numbers compared to the specific population of New Orleans, but most of the deaths were in New Orleans, so there is still plenty of information to draw some tentative conclusion. Once we get an exact count of New Orleans residents and compare that to the city’s population, we will know for sure what the ratio was.
But in the mean time, someone get Kanye West on the phone…