The death toll from Hurricane 'Camille' continued to rise Thursday (21 August) as search and recovery teams found scores of bodies in the devastated coastal area of Louisiana and Mississippi.
(In sequence): Scenes in community of Pass Christian showing body carried to hearse, man probing in water for body, men searching roadside, earthmoving tractors arriving, aerial view showing destruction and rescue helicopter. Scenes in Buras: travelling shots showing devastation; flooding and destroyed buildings, man seated amidst ruins of house.
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Background: The death toll from Hurricane 'Camille' continued to rise Thursday (21 August) as search and recovery teams found scores of bodies in the devastated coastal area of Louisiana and Mississippi.
As relief and recovery efforts began to take effect, officials became aware of the full magnitude of the destruction - the worst by a hurricane in United States history. Hampered by debris, ruptured communications and high water, recovery teams searched painstakingly for casualties. An accurate figure of the dead and missing was difficult to compile because of communications difficulties, and some officials reported that an exact figure may never be known.
A U.S. Navy construction battalion found 100 bodies in the ruins Pass Christian on Thursday. The Mississippi community was the first to be hit by the hurricane's 190-mile-an-hour winds on Sunday. The town was almost completely destroyed, and survivors were evacuated.
The scope of destruction in the Mississippi delta marshlands was uncertain, but at least 10 dead were reported. The Plaquemines Parish community of Buras (in Louisiana) had only a handful of building left intact following the storm. These houses, and the ruins around them, were inundated by flood waters.
shocked survivors began returning to Buras on Thursday as cleanup operations began. Most had nothing to return to except the land which their houses once stood.
The spokesman for a large group of insurance companies said Thursday that he expected the cost of damages to approached 500-million dollars.