Thousands of residents are fleeing the southern U.S. city of New
Orleans, as powerful Hurricane Gustav approaches from the Gulf of
U.S. forecasters say Gustav may enter the northern Gulf
of Mexico by Monday morning. They have warned that the dangerous storm
could make landfall early Tuesday near the city, which was devastated
by the effects of Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
officials say 3,000 residents have voluntarily been evacuated
on buses and another 17,000 are waiting to be transported out.
Thousands of other people are fleeing by car, clogging roadways headed
out of the city. City leaders say mandatory evacuations may be ordered
as early as Sunday morning.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, killing hundreds of people and causing more than $100 billion in damage.
State and federal officials were accused of failing to properly respond to the catastrophe, and leaving many residents to die.
White House says President George Bush is keeping in touch with state
and federal officials, to ensure that the region is prepared to respond
if Gustav should strike the southern United States, as predicted.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.