Scores of Lao and Cambodian-American residents of New Orleans escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina to New Iberia and took refuge in the local Lao temple.
VOA-Lao talks to a Lao-American victim who is among those taking refuge at the Wat Thammarattanaram of Louisiana.
Ms. khamla Dek says people in her area are familiar with hurricanes which they have encountered many times a year, but none was as deadly in the past. So, even though they were afraid, they were very calm about it, leaving their homes with necessity items only, thinking they would be able to get back to their home in a couple days after the storm has passed just like the previous ones. But this time, with Katrina, it was different. It is now apparent that they will not be able to get back into their homes for a very long time.
Currently, some 100 Laotians and Cambodians are taking temporary shelter at Wat Lao Thammarattanaram of Louisiana, where the Laotian Community leaders along with the Red Cross and many other relief organizations are working closely and try to provide all the needed helps.
As of now, the future is still uncertain for these victims. Many are affected by this storm physically and psychologically, and that will take time to heal.
Listen to our audio for more details.