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Hurricane triggers evacuation

NEW ORLEANS, SEPT. 15 . Stragglers streamed toward higher ground on Wednesday, on highways turned into one-way evacuation routes while surf started eroding beaches as Hurricane Ivan roared toward the Gulf Coast with a 225 kph wind.

Nearly 320 km wide, Ivan could cause significant damage no matter where it strikes, as hurricane-force wind extended up to 169 km out from the centre. Hurricane warnings were posted along a 483 km stretch from Grand Isle, Louisiana, across coastal Mississippi and Alabama to Apalachicola, on Florida. Fleeing to safety was not an option for some people, especially in New Orleans, the below-sea-level city where more than 1.2 million persons were urged to get out of the metropolitan, warned that the city could be inundated with water up to 20 feet deep. — AP

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