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    Death toll in New Orleans could reach thousands

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    WASHINGTON, September 2 (RIA Novosti, Alexander Berezin) - The death toll of Hurricane Katarina in New Orleans could reach thousands, the head of America's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official said Friday.Michael Brown said the victims were mostly people who had ignored the hurricane warning and decided to stay in the city. He said he could not explain why people had opted to stay when the authorities had announced a mandatory evacuation. At present, the most important task is to rescue the survivors, he said.

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