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Obama Hails New Orleans Resilience

U.S. President Barack Obama (file photo)
U.S. President Barack Obama, marking the fifth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans, has praised the southern U.S. city's resilience and pledged support for rebuilding "until the job is done."

The storm and its aftermath, which occurred while Obama's predecessor George W. Bush was president, killed nearly 2,000 people, forced more than one million residents from their homes, and caused billions of dollars of damage in New Orleans and the Gulf Of Mexico coastal region.

Speaking on August 29 at New Orleans' Xavier University, Obama called the hurricane a natural disaster that was also a "manmade catastrophe" because government agencies failed to deliver enough help to thousands of people who needed aid.

Obama, however, while acknowledging that much rebuilding still needs to be done, said he was confident communities would band together to ensure that "New Orleans is blossoming once more."

compiled from agency reports