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Millions flee the wrath of Hurricane Ivan.

HURRICANE Ivan has claimed its first lives in the United States.

Spin-off tornadoes killed two people in Florida as the 135mph winds of Ivan the Terrible approached.

More than two million people have fled coastal areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Ivan has already torn a path of destruction through the Caribbean, leaving nearly 70 people dead in its wake.

Forecasters brought some good news for the people of New Orleans, with latest projections suggesting that the eye of the hurricane would hit land further east. If it took a direct hit, New Orleans could become swamped under a 20ft storm surge, mixed with a toxic cocktail of sewage, chemicals and natural gas.

Just a small change in the hurricane's trajectory could bring it ashore directly over the city, which lies below sea level.

Walter Maestri, an emergency manager in New Orleans, said if Ivan remained a Category Four storm and hit New Orleans, 50, 000 people could drown, and the city could effectively be destroyed.

CAPTION(S):

Firefighters battle a blaze in Gulfport, Mississippi yesterday that was caused by Hurricane Ivan
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2004
Words:183
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