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People need to get off their fricking asses and get me some goddamn resources - MAYOR RAY NAGIN; HURRICANE KATRINA.

Byline: From RYAN PARRY in New Orleans

THE mayor of New Orleans yesterday sent out an anguished SOS to save his stricken city.

Injured and starving citizens are still waiting to be evacuated and guardsmen have not arrived to stop looting and violence.

Mayor Ray Nagin said: "People need to get off their fricking asses and get me some goddamn resources.

"We are sitting here on day five of the US's worst natural disaster and people are still dying. All I need is a couple of hundred extra troops and buses, it's a national disgrace."

He has ordered almost the entire 1,500 strong police force to abandon the search for survivors and quell the anarchy.

President George W Bush yesterday asked his dad, ex-president George HW Bush, and predecessor Bill Clinton to lead a private fundraising campaign for victims. Congress was expected to cut short its summer break yesterday to approve pounds 6billion of aid.

Mayor Nagin called for a total evacuation saying New Orleans will be uninhabitable for two or three months. Three thousand national guardsmen, promised to bring the city under martial law, have not been drafted in. There are now 28,000 troops helping.

Dozens of carjackings have been reported, a man shot his sister dead in a row over a bag of ice and a pharmacy was ramraided with a forklift.

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour said: "The truth is, a terrible tragedy like this brings out the best in most people, brings out the worst in some people."

Doctors at two hospitals yesterday called news agency Associated Press for help. They are short of food and water and have had to move patients to higher floors to escape looters.

Trauma surgery chief Dr Norman McSwain said: "We have been trying to call the mayor's office, we have been trying to call the governor... we have tried to use any inside pressure we can. We are turning to you. Please help us."

Mr Bush was due to visit the Alabama coast by helicopter today then land in Mississippi.

He said yesterday: "I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday. But I want people to know there's a lot of help coming."

Government cash for the city's flood defences was cut last year from pounds 21million to pounds 6million to pay for the Iraq war.

Petrol in Britain will hit pounds 1 a litre because 20 oil rigs off the Gulf of Mexico have gone.


HELP: President Bush yesterday asks his dad and Bill Clinton to raise cash for victims; FURY: <Mayor Ray Nagin
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 2, 2005
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