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Bush Signed Nearly 52-billion More for Hurricane Katrina's Victims

  • VOA News

President Bush has signed a bill promising nearly 52-billion more dollars in relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Bush signed the legislation late Thursday, saying the storm victims have immediate needs that must be met without delay. The president says the process will be streamlined to get money to hard-hit residents as quickly as possible, including two thousand dollars for each affected household.

Both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass the emergency aid bill.

More than 63-billion dollars in storm aid has now been approved, although the cost of the hurricane is expected to be much higher.

Meanwhile, thousands of police and National Guard troops are going door-to-door in New Orleans to complete the job of evacuating the city. Authorities continue to search for trapped survivors 11 days after Katrina struck the southern coast.

Some residents are leaving voluntarily, while an estimated 10-thousand others have been unable to get out, or refuse to leave, despite contaminated floodwaters and the risk of fire.

Authorities warn the death toll could reach into the thousands, although fewer than 200 bodies have been found so far as floodwaters are pumped out of New Orleans.