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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:58, September 02, 2005
Hurricane-ravaged US city desperately asks for help
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New Orleans, the southern US city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, on Thursday sent out "SOS" signal for help as the situation there is totally beyond control.

In a statement broadcast by US TV network CNN, Ray Nagin, mayor of the city, said New Orleans has descended into anarchy.

"This is a desperate SOS," he pleaded.

According to local media reports, the Louisiana city was extremely chaotic, with fights and fires breaking out, corpses laying out in the open, looting spreading and rescue teams being shot.

Some 15,000 to 20,000 people taking shelter at the New Orleans Convention Center are growing angry and restless in what appeared to be a potentially explosive situation.

Nagin described the dire situation in the statement to the CNN.

"Now we are out of resources at the convention center and don't anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention center is unsanitary and unsafe and we're running out of supplies, " he said.

The SOS plea from Nagin came even as thousands of members of US National Guard are arriving at the scene to help restore order and stop looting, car-jackings and gunfire.

Although New Orleans was spared from the direct hit as Hurricane Katrina swept through US Gulf Coast Monday, as much as 80 percent of the city was submerged due to hurricane-trigged flooding.

US officials said it will take several years for the historical southern metropolitan to be back to normal.

US welcomes any aid offers from abroad

The United States, suffering from heavy death toll and economic losses wrought by Hurricane Katrina, will accept any offers of aid from abroad, the White House said Thursday.

"We are open to all offers of assistance from other nations, and I would expect we would take people up on offers of assistance when it's necessary," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

Also on Thursday, US President George W. Bush has asked his father, former president George Bush and his predecessor, former president Bill Clinton to lead fundraising efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The two former presidents, whom Bush put in charge of seeking funds to help the victims of last year's tsunami in Asia, will lead "a similar effort" in response to Katrina, McClellan said.

An overwhelming crisis continues to unfold in the US Gulf Coast region as hundreds were feared dead and tens of thousands of houses were destroyed under the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, local reports said.

Source: Xinhua

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