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Hurricane Katrina Death Toll

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurrica..._.28summary.29

Here are some preliminary figures. In Mississippi, the toll is over 560 already, and the job of counting the dead there is nowhere near finished. The number of missing in all the affected areas is listed at over 35,000, but this figure, hopefully, is because of family members who have been separated and unable to contact each other.

When can we expect some kind of accurate, or "reasonable" assessment as to how many were killed, both by the hurricane's direct effects, and as a result of the extraordinary negligence on the part of the authorities? And what is that figure likely to be?

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post #2 of 58
Hmm it would be very difficult to make a reliable death toll, it will be even more difficult to know the number of death that could have been prevented with a better management (almost impossible).

The only thing that I can say is :
- the death toll will be in thousands
- the death toll will be too high
post #3 of 58
It should be noted that, statistically, a certain number of the population would have died anyway on any given day. It'd be interesting to see if the authorities/media/whoever take this into account or can verify that the number dead were a result of the hurricane and conditions afterward.

I'd also be interested in knowing how many essentially killed themselves by being stupid and staying behind when they were capable of leaving.

No matter how many end up in the count, I'm surprised we haven't seen wrongful death lawsuits against the government yet -- justified or not.
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post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
It should be noted that, statistically, a certain number of the population would have died anyway on any given day.

Good point, I wonder how many people die in NO on any given day.

Quote:
No matter how many end up in the count, I'm surprised we haven't seen wrongful death lawsuits against the government yet -- justified or not.

Or the companies that helped build the levy system.
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by ThinkingDifferent
Good point, I wonder how many people die in NO on any given day.

If my math is right, about 1/2% of the U.S. population died every day in 1998 according to this site.

So if there ends up being 20,000 dead after all the bodies are counted, that would mean about 100 of them would have died anyway. It's really not that big of a discrepancy...

...assuming the data on that Web site is accurate and I interpreted it correctly. \
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post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
So if there ends up being 20,000 dead after all the bodies are counted, that would mean about 100 of them would have died anyway. It's really not that big of a discrepancy...

Yeah, I would expect the number of bodies eaten by crocodiles will be a bigger confounder than the background death rate.
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by Towel
Yeah, I would expect the number of bodies eaten by crocodiles will be a bigger confounder than the background death rate.

Don't forget the ones washed out to sea or into Lake Ponchtrain (sp?) by receding flood waters....

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post #8 of 58
Thread Starter 
An update on CNN: Paula Zahn was reporting that 25,000 body bags have been brought into Louisiana.
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post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
If my math is right

the annual us death rate is ~8.44/1000, so in new orleans with 484674 people it means that about 11 people die per day. the vast majority of those die from heart disease, cancer and other illnesses, with deaths/day outside of those diseases probably making up about 3/12. So it's actually a pretty low number per day on average.
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
the annual us death rate is ~8.44/1000,...

So using those figures it becomes about 169 out of 20,000 dead (as a moderate estimate) that would have passed away without Katrina. A little less than what I'd figured.

Alas, I do not have the Googling prowess that you do, good giant.
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post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
So using those figures it becomes about 169 out of 20,000 dead (as a moderate estimate) that would have passed away without Katrina.

I'm confused by what you are doing. The death rate refers to 8.44 deaths per 1000 people. In the case of New Orleans, this would come to about 77 people per week dying in the city in normal circumstances, with the deaths of 21 from heart disease, 17 from cancer and 3 from accidents, among a bunch of other things.

What you seem to be doing is taking 8.44 per 1000 deaths attributed to katrina, which, unless I am totally missing something, isn't right. Am I missing something?
Quote:
Alas, I do not have the Googling prowess that you do, good giant.

Google's a cinch compared to the 99% of the stuff, online and off, that it doesn't touch and that I have to deal with for work.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
If my math is right, about 1/2% of the U.S. population died every day in 1998 according to this site.

So if there ends up being 20,000 dead after all the bodies are counted, that would mean about 100 of them would have died anyway. It's really not that big of a discrepancy...

...assuming the data on that Web site is accurate and I interpreted it correctly. \

1-2% every day ? you mean every year. If 1-2 % of the US population die everyday, after two or three months, all the US population will disapear.
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
I'm confused by what you are doing....

What you seem to be doing is taking 8.44 per 1000 deaths attributed to katrina, which, unless I am totally missing something, isn't right. Am I missing something?

I may be the one missing something. What I'm interested in doing is finding out how many of the dead who are attributed to Katrina would have probably died anyway without a hurricane (from cancer, a car wreck, murder, and all the other ways people die). I'm unsure if you figure that based on the total population of those hit by Katrina or the number of dead that will be counted. I can see an argument either way, but I'm no statistician.

EDIT: Assuming 4 million people in the region (to throw out a number) were hit, then you'd expect that 33,600 would have died on any given day anyway based on 8.44 per 1000. That doesn't take into account all the births on any given day.
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post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
1-2% every day ? you mean every year. If 1-2 % of the US population die everyday, after two or three months, all the US population will disapear.

That is 0.5%. And you have slightly more people being born each day than dying.
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post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
EDIT: Assuming 4 million people in the region (to throw out a number) were hit, then you'd expect that 33,600 would have died on any given day anyway based on 8.44 per 1000.

The 8.44 is the annual death rate, so you have to divide the result by 365 to get the daily rate. For 4 million people the daily death rate would be 92.5.

It will be interesting to see how they count deaths since the vast majority of deaths in normal conditions are due to things illnesses like cancer and heart disease. While the death count attributed to the direct effects of the hurricane are pretty clear, how do we count deaths of patients who were stranded at hospitals without proper facilities? It's also most likely the majority of those killed by the hurricane and its aftermath will be the old, sick and young.

For New Orleans parish at least it looks like anything over 11-13 deaths per day can be attributed to the hurricane and its effects.
post #16 of 58
Hey, here's something to do: find out how many people died because of the inaction of our Bush-led federal government. Then break down the numbers to calculate for:

1) ineptitude
2) willful ignorance
3) ideology
4) cronyism

(Some may overlap)
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
1-2% every day ? you mean every year. If 1-2 % of the US population die everyday, after two or three months, all the US population will disapear.

But with every day that passes, the smaller the amount of deaths in real terms.

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post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnJ
Hey, here's something to do: find out how many people died because of the inaction of our Bush-led federal government.



We're trying to have an intelligent conversation here.
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post #19 of 58
The death toll will be much bigger than it should have been. However, the responsibility starts with the local officials and moves up the line to Washington. Sorry, I know it is not progressive to question the actions of a black mayor, but he was the first of several to drop the ball.



FYI : No crocodiles down here. We have Alligators.
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post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut


We're trying to have an intelligent conversation here.

No, you're not.

Your motives weren't previously in question-- until that comment right there. Here we have a thread about the death toll, and one person seems all too concerned with minimizing the deaths. You're making a bit much of a very small number of people who "would have died anyway." The death toll will be much bigger, and the reasons accounting for it deserve discussion, not dismissive eye-rolling. We'll find out just how people died when the bodies start turning up. Then, we can go from there. Your concerns, meanwhile, are utterly tangental.
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnJ
No, you're not.

Your motives weren't previously in question-- until that comment right there. Here we have a thread about the death toll, and one person seems all too concerned with minimizing the deaths. You're making a bit much of a very small number of people who "would have died anyway." The death toll will be much bigger, and the reasons accounting for it deserve discussion, not dismissive eye-rolling. We'll find out just how people died when the bodies start turning up. Then, we can go from there. Your concerns, meanwhile, are utterly tangental.

Someday when Shawn grows up, he will realize that intelligent discussion doesn't include his long winded rants about the "motives" of other people which he uses to ignore little things like facts.

Nick

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post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnJ
You're making a bit much of a very small number of people who "would have died anyway."

I felt it was prudent to have some sort of legitimate figure on how many people pass away without a disastrous hurricane coming through. Now we have perspective. We've concluded that no matter how low or high the body count, a "very small number" of them would have passed away anyway. It reinforces the premise that the staggering numbers we're about to see are arguably due to Katrina and her aftermath.
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post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
intelligent discussion doesn't include his long winded rants

Far, far worse, however, are rants like yours that are simply personal attacks and have nothing to do with the thread topic.

Shawn's expressing his view of the discussion of the daily death rates on the death toll. I think CosmoNut's point about accounting for the daily death rate is an very interesting one that helps us understand how this event impacts the people. We all have different views, but, unlike your personal attack, they are all on topic.
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by giant
Far, far worse, however, are rants like yours that are simply personal attacks and have nothing to do with the thread topic.

Shawn's expressing his view of the discussion of the daily death rates on the death toll. I think CosmoNut's point about accounting for the daily death rate is an very interesting one that helps us understand how this event impacts the people. We all have different views, but, unlike your personal attack, they are all on topic.

Your reasoning that pointing out a personal attack is in fact a personal attack defies all logic.

Cosmo has already replied but the premise he brought up is a good one and shows the cluelessness of Shawn's "motive" attack.

Something within our culture has taken death and made it an unnatural state. Death is a natural occurance and so are natural disasters. The debate about what degree of these deaths were natural and what degree are preventable will probably never end or be objectively resolvable. However that doesn't excuse the fact that pointing out that these natural things take place is proof of some sort of malicious "motive" is just a personal attack covering weak and irrational reasoning.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #25 of 58
OK let's going on. After checking there is an agreement saying that the normal death toll, will have a very small influence in the death toll.
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
After checking there is an agreement saying that the normal death toll, will have a very small influence in the death toll.

Yeah. So far very little has been released as far as a good estimate of the total number killed. That may take some time, so this thread may go on for a while.

*twiddles thumbs*
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post #27 of 58
I see a lot of future politicians in here.

Debate
Infight
Blame
Fingerpoint
Do nothing
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post #28 of 58
I've started to hear some of this discussion of alligators in New Orleans. Creepy.
post #29 of 58
We may never know the actual death toll in NO.

The Bush admin has begun to throw a media cordon around the disaster area, just as they have done in Iraq. The order has gone out: no pictures of bodies.

It's part of the basic Rove strategy. Get the president on TV "looking presidential" in tightly scripted and art directed tableau (shirt sleeves, check, firemen, check, hugging a black person, check, in front of military hardware, check).

But they must also control the pictures the president isn't in: the ones that might link the president in people's minds to bad shit.

What they absolutely don't want, and won't allow to be reported, is any instance where the circumstances of a death make clear that a more timely response might have made a difference. I guarantee you will see no reports from the scene that have this grim fact in play.

Further, ala the fuzzed up math of Iraq, once you control access to the area you can say whatever you want about what happened, is happening, should have happened, etc.

There was a time when my line of thought here might have been thought shockingly cynical but that time is gone. Anyone who isn't a fool knows precisely how far the Bush admin will go to control the message.

In fact, it's all they're good at.
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post #30 of 58
Oh, and in case you think I'm making this up: (via the Washington Monthly)

Reuters: "The U.S. agency leading Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts said Tuesday that it does not want the news media to photograph the dead as they are recovered."

Bob Brigham: "We are in Jefferson Parish, just outside of New Orleans. At the National Guard checkpoint, they are under orders to turn away all media. All of the reporters are turning theyre TV trucks around."

Salt Lake Tribune: "'[FEMA has] people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-mat certified,' said a Texas firefighter. 'We're sitting in here having a sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who haven't been contacted yet.' The firefighter, who has encouraged his superiors back home not to send any more volunteers for now, declined to give his name because FEMA has warned them not to talk to reporters."

Brian Williams, NBC News: "While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won't be any pictures of this particular group of guard soldiers on our newscast tonight."

Naturally, it's all because the filthy media jackals would just get in the way of FEMA's good works.
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post #31 of 58
Perhaps not photographing the dead is out of respect for the dead?
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post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by Moe_in_Texas
Perhaps not photographing the dead is out of respect for the dead?

If you can recocnize the dead certainly.
If not, it's a good question. In a photographic forum, there was a thread about this subject some months ago (about a photo of a dead african). Some people say that the truth should not be hided, even if the pic was shocking, others said that it was not respectefull for the dead, and was a sort of voyeurism.
post #33 of 58
It's also important to note the numerous moves made by FEMA in an attempt to give the agency good press, even before it was getting this horrible press. In fact, it appears that FEMA may have put more evergy in PR than saving lives from the beginning. Therefore, in the context of FEMA's actions over the past week and a half, the order is far from benign.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by Moe_in_Texas
Perhaps not photographing the dead is out of respect for the dead?

We're not talking about gristly snuff pictures for the Post. We're talking about access for reporters so they can report what's going on in the disaster area.

But I know you'll have another reason (other than the obvious true one) for why that is perfectly reasonable.

Elephant over stars and stripes, and now over all human decency, logic, truth, pragmatism, results, justice or history.
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post #35 of 58
"Elephant over stars and stripes, and now over all human decency, logic, truth, pragmatism, results, justice or history."



Huh?

The American people know how bad this situation is. We know thousands of people are dead. We know hundreds of thousands are homeless. We have responded to this tragedy with unprecedented donations of money and goods and time. What is being hidden from us? We get it.
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post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
We may never know the actual death toll in NO.

The Bush admin has begun to throw a media cordon around the disaster area, just as they have done in Iraq. The order has gone out: no pictures of bodies.

Yes, because we all can easily follow the logic that someone isn't truly dead until you can take a picture of their body.

I'm sure whoever is blamed politically will get off easy because a headline that reads 20,000 dead won't have any impact unless we see a decaying corpse. I mean a picture of the gravesite, or grave markers, or grieving families would have absolutely NO impact.

Quote:
What they absolutely don't want, and won't allow to be reported, is any instance where the circumstances of a death make clear that a more timely response might have made a difference. I guarantee you will see no reports from the scene that have this grim fact in play.

Yeah we wouldn't understand why someone would care to prevent your form of fuzzy logic. It is the same sort of nonsense that had the NAACP running ads where Bush was responsible for the dragging death of a black man in his state. It is the same sort of logic that has ads where Bush is a Nazi or is shown throwing old women off cliffs.

No one can understand why someone would care to avoid letting people play politics with the dead by using your wonderful brand of logical leaps.

You are one sick puppy.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #37 of 58
A report said that 30 people were found dead in a nursing home. Many of them were in their wheelchairs, abandoned by the workers there.

No one needs a picture of that.
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post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Naturally, it's all because the filthy media jackals would just get in the way of FEMA's good works.

Well actually, yeah.
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post #39 of 58
Quote:
A report said that 30 people were found dead in a nursing home. Many of them were in their wheelchairs, abandoned by the workers there.

No one needs a picture of that.


I think pictures are exactly what is needed to drive home to the American people what has happened.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
Well actually, yeah.

That's demonstratably false in this case.
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