Scores of people are feared dead in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which touched down in the US Gulf Coast region on Monday.
Authorities said the death toll is certain to rise from the current 55 as authorities reach victims in flood-hit areas. The majority of those dead were killed in Mississippi, and not New Orleans where weather experts expected the worst, according to the <i>AP</i>.
Nonetheless, widespread damage was caused across the region; scores of people had to be rescued from rooftops as the floodwaters rose quickly around them.
The hurricane knocked out power to more than a million people, and US authorities said it could be two months before electricity is restored to everyone.
The US government began rushing baby formula, water, communications equipment, generators as well as medical personnel to the hardest-hit regions.
Meanwhile, oil refiners said damage to their equipment in the Gulf region was minimal. Meanwhile, oil prices fell from Monday's $70 a barrel. US officials administration said they would consider releasing oil from the nation's emergency stockpile if necessary.