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USA: Pacific Disaster Center assists Hurricane Katrina relief operations

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KIHEI (September 12) - The Pacific Disaster Center in Kihei, Hawaii, at the request of Louisiana's St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis, is working with the St. Tammany Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to provide emergency management support for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

This assistance in support of the St.Tammany Parish EOC, headed by Fire Captain Chris Knoblaunch, is being provided in conjunction with the EOC's cooperation with the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Pacific Disaster Center, which is managed by the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, has dispatched an emergency operations specialist (George Buck) and a geospatial data analyst (Mike Napier) to the disaster scene. They will work with emergency management and geographic information specialists of St. Tammany Parish, in coordination with the U.S. Air Force Evacuation Center, to provide logistical and geospatial data support to ongoing search and rescue operations as well as follow-up recovery operations.

"The PDC, which is connected by satellite communications to the field team, will provide additional support through imagery acquisition, processing and analysis," said Allen Clark, PDC executive director.

This team was also recently dispatched to support the international Joint Task Force response and recovery operations in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami. The devastating flooding caused by Katrina in the Gulf coastal areas of the United States, in particular the New Orleans area, has resulted in the largest search and rescue operations in the nation's history. This will be followed by an equally large disaster recovery program.

Located on the Northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain, the eight communities of St. Tammany Parish were particularly hard hit by the deadly force of the Category 4 hurricane and resulting massive flooding from the lake.

The PDC's mission is to provide applied information research and analysis support for the development of more effective policies, institutions, programs and information products for the disaster management and humanitarian assistance communities of the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

The East-West Center has been the managing partner of the PDC since 2001.

For more information contact Allen Clark at (808) 891-7925 or aclark@pdc.org.