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Last Updated: Thursday September 22 2005 10:38 GMT

Rita causes Houston evacuations

Rita hits a tree
Hurricane Rita is gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico after lashing Florida and Cuba, and may hit the southern US soon.

New Orleans is being evacuated, because if Rita hits the city it could be badly flooded once more, after being damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August.

Satellite pictures suggest the Category Four storm will hit Texas later this week, bringing winds of 130mph.

Tens of thousands of people are leaving towns along the Gulf Coast.

Many of the people who had to leave New Orleans after Katrina are now being forced to leave Texas, where they had been taking shelter.

Rita passed in between Cuba and the US island chain known as the Florida Keys on Tuesday.

In the Gulf of Mexico, US Navy ships helping out with the clear-up after Katrina have been moved so they aren't damaged by the storm.

The hurricane season runs from the start of June to the end of November, and Rita is the 17th named storm this year.

Have you been affected by Hurricane Rita? Are you in the path of the storm? Let us know your thoughts by using the form on the right hand side.

Your comments

I think this is not good at all. People just need to try and avoid it by leaving the city before thousands more people are affected.
Gemma, 12, Nottingham

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