Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans on August 29, 2005, but still today we do not know the true death to
ll. Just how many people lost their lives as a result of that tragic event?
The Earth Institute is attempting to document all those who died as a result of the Hurricane and its extended afterm
ath and we need your help.
There are two principal reasons why the death toll remains unclear. One is that a large number of people remain missi
ng. The second is that the number of deceased depends on exactly who is counted as being a victim of the hurricane. We m
ust count all who drowned or were crushed in building collapses, but do we count those who had a prior medical condition
such as heart disease or respiratory problems that were fatally aggravated by the trauma of the hurricane? Do we count
those who committed suicide in the days after? Without details of who died or what caused their death we cannot begin to
answer questions such as these concerning the variable risks people face in natural disasters.
The purpose of this Web site is to assemble a comprehensive list of all those who died directly and indirectly from t
he effects of Katrina and its long, tragic aftermath. We would like to compile as comprehensive a list as possible of th
e names, age, race, sex, cause of death, circumstances of death and way of life of all those whose deaths could plausibl
y be attributed to the hurricane or its consequences.
There is also a blog at http://katrinalist.wordpre
ss.com where you can contribute any thoughts you have on the project or other issues about New Orleans' peo
ple as they work to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The list of all the victims is an act of remembrance. In addition, if we can obtain all the information we can about
the way they lived and how they died, we will be able to better understand how natural disasters such as Katrina affect
all levels of society and devise measures to save more lives in the future.
Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor, Department of International and Public Affairs
The Earth Institute