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Sunday, September 27, 1998 Published at 03:58 GMT 04:58 UK

World: Americas

Thousands flee New Orleans as hurricane approaches

Long traffic jams have built up round the American city of New Orleans as residents rush to escape hurricane Georges which is approaching across the Gulf of Mexico.

Much of the city lies below sea level and it is directly in the path of the hurricane.

The director of the American National Hurricane Centre warned that New Orleans, which is protected by levees from the water which surrounds it, was especially difficult to evacuate because it is connected to the rest of the country by only two main roads. Around one million people have been told to leave their homes in the states of Louisiana and Alabama. Hurricane Georges has already killed over three-hundred people in its passage across the Caribbean.

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