Hurricane Katrina traps up to 100 Russians

HOUSTON — Up to a hundred Russians could be trapped in U.S. areas hit by Hurricane Katrina, Russia’s foreign ministry told RBC quoting data from the Russian general consulate in Houston. Many of them are students. Russian diplomats, together with U.S. rescue services, are developing an evacuation plan.

Earlier reports said about 30 Russian students had found refuge on the rooftop of a half-flooded hotel in New Orleans. But it turned out later there were seventeen students there, and all of them have been moved to safety.

Local police said the Russian students had been taken to a hurricane victims center at Fort Polk military base, 300 km from New Orleans. The rescued students are said to be OK. A firm that hosted them in New Orleans said it was ready to transport the students to Florida and then to Russia.

Hurricane Katrina has hit the U.S. states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, killing several hundred people. More than a million people had to leave their homes, and two million residents were left without electricity.