The Katrina exodus: internal displacements and unequal outcomes

Type

Report

Author

Cutter, S. L.

Title

The Katrina exodus: internal displacements and unequal outcomes

Year

2011

Publisher

Government Office for Science UK

Abstract

In the USA, Hurricane Katrina produced a number of firsts. The August 2005 event was the costliest disaster in the nation’s history ($91 billion) and among the most deadly (1,833 fatalities) (Cutter et al., 2006). It produced one of the largest coastal evacuations in the region’s history (1.5 million) (Groen and Polivka, 2008). Storm surges in excess of 27 feet (8.2 metres) occurred along the Mississippi coastline near Pass Christian (Cutter et al., 2006), and levee failures flooded 80% of New Orleans (Kates et al., 2006; IPET, 2009). The storm and consequent flooding displaced northern Gulf Coast residents for months, and, in some cases, years. Six years later, many Gulf Coast residents have not returned, having been permanently relocated elsewhere, thus transforming the temporary evacuation into a permanent outmigration from the area. The story of the Katrina diaspora has implications for other environmentally induced migrations. The most important are estimations of how many people left, the number of returnees, the impacts on host communities and the potential political and economic transformation of the region.

Citation

Cutter, S. L. (2011). The Katrina exodus: internal displacements and unequal outcomes. London: Government Office for Science UK.

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