Dozens of Vietnamese Americans Stranded Outside of New Orleans
Saigon Broacasting Television Network,
News Report, Staff -Compiled by Calitoday and translated by Andrew Lam,
Sep 01, 2005
According to Saigon Television Broadcasting Network there are dozens of Vietnamese Americans who are still stuck behind in a small town outside of New Orleans called Versailles. Versailles has been the home of more than 10,000 Vietnamese Americans since the Vietnam War ended.
In the last 3 days, without electricity and telephone contacts, the health of the Vietnamese community in Versailles is virtually unknown. Yesterday, Father Vien The Nguyen, of Lavang church in Versailles, managed to contact Saigon Broadasting Television Network to let them know that the majority of Vietnamese living in the area had evacuated before Katrina hit New Orleans, but there are dozens of senior citizens who did not leave because either they have no children or grandchildren to help them, or because they were hoping that they could withstand the storm. When the storm hit, they fled to the church for shelter and there they remained.
The town of Versailles is flooded, some places the water rose to 4 meters, accoridng to father Nguyen. Father Nguyen had decided to stay with those who took shelter in his church. The church is flooded as well but they have taken shelter upstairs. The priest said that he didn’t know if any Vietnamese had died in the Versailles but he was unable to leave the church to find out due to the flood.
Father Nguyen told SBTN that everyone in his church was listening to the news on the radio and had heard of the orders to evacuate. Since then they have been trying to contact the police for help and have been told that help will come. He also noted that he and his flock were still waiting for rescue but among those who were taking shelter at his church, many were beginning to show signs of failing health. Most didn’t have their medications with them, and many remained in shock. He asked all listeners to pray for them and for their rescue. The telephone line he was using was weak and his voice was often inaudible. Father Nguyen said that he will try to contact SBTN once they were rescued.
The Vietnamese American communities in Biloxi, Mississippi, and in Gulfport have also been evacuated, and the majority of this population have reached Alabama and Atlanta.