Accounting for Katrina's Dead
How do we fully account for the people killed by Hurricane Katrina? Should we count the kidney dialysis patient who died when treatment was interrupted? What about a despondent evacuee who committed suicide months after leaving New Orleans? Or the suspected looter shot in the street?
More importantly, what happens to our understanding of the storm's impact on society if these and other uncounted are added to the list of those who drowned?
These are the questions John Mutter, deputy director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, hopes to answer through a new project that seeks to compile an online list of all Gulf Coast residents who died as a result of direct and indirect effects of the storm, and as a result of the victims' social standing or decisions made by policy makers.
The list is now freely available on the Internet.