THOUSANDS of people have fled from New Orleans as a hurricane
approaches the US city, exactly seven years after the region was
devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Isaac is said to be less powerful than Hurricane
Katrina, but it has already killed at least 24 people in Haiti and
the Dominican Republic, and has gained strength, to become a
category-one hurricane, as it made its slow journey across to the
President Obama has declared an emergency in the states of
Mississippi and Louisiana, triggering the release of federal
Eight-metre-high floodgates were put in place in New Orleans
after the significant flooding and loss of life wreaked by Katrina,
and the gates have been closed since Tuesday.
Storm surges, high winds of up to 80 miles per hour, and heavy
rainfall causing flooding are expected.
In Haiti, at least 40,000 people were displaced by flooding. The
storm struck on Saturday, causing damage to homes and
But despite the losses, in the diocese of Haiti, the Suffragan
Bishop, the Rt Revd Oge Beauvoir, wrote in an email on Monday that
Haiti appeared to have been "spared" from the worst of Isaac. "God
has heard your prayers. . . There is not too much damage, so far. .
. We got some heavy rains and bad winds. But by the grace of God,
we are safe," Bishop Beauvoir wrote. "I have been in permanent
contact with the clergy and lay pastors of the Northern Region
where I am working, and all the reports look good, all things
The Bishop of Louisiana, the Rt Revd Morris Thompson, wrote to
diocesan leaders this week that while the forecast probably "brings
with it more than just the normal anxiety associated with
hurricanes, as it comes on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in
times like this it is important that we keep strong in our faith
and know that God is still God. So, as people are fond of saying,
we prepare for the worst and pray for the best."
He emphasised the importance of taking precautions now "to
protect ourselves and those in our care".
A special page has been set up on the diocesan website to post
details as the hurricane progresses.
Other dioceses along the Gulf Coast have made similar