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9/13/2005

Hurricane Katrina Caused few Deaths, even fewer than reported

. . . The average yearly death-rate in the US is 8.25 people out of every 1,000, which translates to 3,300 people a year in this "hypothetical" city [of 400,000], making the estimate pretty accurate.

Now suppose we imagine that something happens - a hurricane for example - and all of those people who died of natural causes are left where they died for about two weeks.  At 11 people a day, that's 154 bodies.  At 8.25, that's 116.

Now suppose that something happens wherein life-saving treatment is unavailable to the infirm, and the death-rate shoots up to something like that of South Africa's (21.32/1,000) for that two weeks.  Now we've got 23 people dying of natural-causes (exacerbated by the unavailability of quality medical care) each day for a total of 327 bodies accumulating during that two weeks.

Last I heard, the official death toll in Louisiana (including more than just the city of New Orleans) was 279.  Not surprisingly, the vast majority of deaths seem to have occurred in hospitals and nursing homes - places where the elderly and infirm congregate. . . .

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