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From natural to 'man-made disaster': Obama remembers Hurricane Katrina


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From natural to 'man-made disaster': Obama remembers Hurricane Katrina

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US President Barack Obama has visited New Orleans ten years after the city was torn apart by one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Hurricane Katrina made worldwide headlines in 2005, when it wreaked havoc across whole communities in the southern states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

More than 1,500 people were killed as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Much stronger than anticipated, it caused billions of dollars worth of damage.

On his ninth trip to New Orleans, Obama praised the progress made in rebuilding the affected areas.

“Today this new community centre stands as a symbol of the extraordinary resilience of this city. You are an example of what is possible when, in the face of tragedy and in the face of hardship, good people come together to lend a hand,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that more needed to be done.

“Just because the houses are nice, doesn’t mean our job’s done,” he told reporters.

Since the 2008 presidential race, Obama has regularly called to task the Bush administration of the time for its response in the aftermath of the disaster.

“We came to realise that, what started out as a natural disaster became a man-made disaster. A failure of the government to look out for its own citizens,” he told local residents in New Orleans.

“But what that storm revealed was another tragedy, one that had been brewing for decades. New Orleans had long been plagued by structural inequality that left too many people, especially people of colour, without good jobs or affordable health care or decent housing,” Obama continued.

One and a half years remain of Obama’s presidency. In the light of recent, highly-publicised cases of racially-charged violence, he has made increasing numbers of speeches addressing racial equality.

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