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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 September 2005, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Katrina Britons prepare to return
John Drysdale and Teresa Cherrie
John Drysdale and Teresa Cherrie were trapped by Katrina
British survivors of Hurricane Katrina are preparing to return from the United States, the Foreign Office has said.

Around 30 Britons who had taken shelter at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans have been moved to hotels in surrounding cities as a first step.

"When they are able to fly will depend on the flights and availability of seats," a spokesman said.

Relatives of the estimated 100 Britons in Louisiana when Katrina struck can call the UK helpline: 0207 008 0000.

Thousands of people across Louisiana and Mississippi are thought to have died in Monday's storm and flooding.

US President George W Bush has ordered 7,000 more front-line troops into the areas devastated by the hurricane.

Large amounts of food, clean water and medical aid have also now arrived in New Orleans.

Rescue workers

Members of the British Red Cross are preparing to join an international logistics team, after an appeal from their US counterparts.

It appears an area about the size of Great Britain has been hit
Mike Goodhand
British Red Cross

Mike Goodhand, 47, of London, and John Cunningham, 52, of Bristol are flying from Heathrow Airport to Montgomery, in Alabama.

Mr Goodhand - head of logistics at the British Red Cross - said he would be working on establishing aid supply lines.

He said: "From what we have seen on TV, the scenes of devastation are far worse than we envisaged.

"It appears an area about the size of Great Britain has been hit, which is much more than could have been anticipated in the first few hours."

'Chaos'

Meanwhile, British families are gradually hearing news of loved ones caught in the hurricane.

Nicola Cherrie, aged 21, said her mother Teresa, 42, and partner John Drysdale, 41, from Renfrew in Scotland, were stranded in Baton Rouge.

Nicola said her mother had been forced to loot supermarkets, while avoiding armed gangs.

Some of the army got shot and the army refused to go into the dome so they moved them again to the Hyatt hotel
Keith Nelson

"She was awfully upset and she just said she'd never been so starving in her whole life, she'd never seen so many guns, she'd never been so scared."

Taryna Peers, of Wolverhampton, said she had lost contact with her daughter Adele when the 19-year-old took refuge in the Superdome.

But on Saturday, Mrs Peers said: "We heard from her at 10 o'clock. They had moved her out of the dome into a hotel in New Orleans and today she was moved to Dallas."

Another Briton, Keith Nelson, said his son, Will, had also been moved from the Superdome after three days.

He told the BBC: "On the third day the army told them that it was getting too dangerous so they moved them to another, smaller stadium.

Hurricane Katrina leaves trail of devastation

"Some of the army got shot and the army refused to go into the dome so they moved them again to the Hyatt hotel."

A number of UK families are still waiting for news of their loved ones.

Mark Hashmy, 36, sent his mother a text message on Monday describing the destruction he had witnessed as a "disaster area".

Gloria Hashmy, of Kingsbridge, south Devon, told the Western Morning News she had not heard from her son since the text and was "in absolute turmoil".

In addition to the Foreign Office hotline, there is also a 24-hour contact number for the British consulate in Houston, which is 001 713 659 6270.


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