September 23, 2005 3:35 PM PDT
The Web tracks Hurricane Rita
Hundreds of Web sites are offering reports, warnings, maps, live pictures and podcasts about Hurricane Rita, expected to slam Southeast Texas early Saturday.
For official advisories, forecasts and sophisticated maps, the National Hurricane Center, run by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, is hard to beat. The agency offers satellite and infrared images of Rita on its storm watch page.
As for the impact of the storm on people, local newspapers, TV stations and national news outlets focused Friday on the evacuation efforts and massive traffic jams around Houston, Galveston and other communities in the storm's path.
When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast just weeks ago, ravaging New Orleans and other towns, the Internet provided a similar array of perspectives. The Web became an important tool in that catastrophe, helping people quickly organize relief efforts, find missing people, and spread word of the devastation.
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