In response to R Ross's letter (NCE 8 September) I would like to point out that New Orleans is not the only place in the world under constant threat of disaster.
Most Africans live in drought prone conditions, many more Asians live in areas susceptible to floods and several million Japanese live in earthquake prone areas.
Are you suggesting that we should use natural disasters as a land-use management tool?
Would you suggest that after an earthquake, the Japanese should take to their heels?
The hallmark of civil engineering is that it learns from natural disasters and improves the technology to expand and improve the habitable environment. That is the way forward: retreat in the face of natural disasters is not an option.
Let us study extreme events and improve codes of practice, as suggested in the article by Bernadette Redfern in the same issue. May New Orleans arise out of the waters and take its rightful place in the deltas and swamps of the Mississippi.
C Makoriwa, 13A Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey