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US Has Accepted One Billion Dollars In International Aid: Official

Relief goods destined for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the US from the Chinese government are loaded onto a China Southern Cargo plane at Beijing's Capital Airport, 07 September 2005. China, which suffers its own devastating annual floods, said it would offer five million USD to help relief efforts and send rescue workers to the stricken areas. AFP photo/Pool/Kazuhiko Yamashita.

Washington (AFP) Sep 07, 2005
The United States has accepted one billion dollars in cash and material goods from 45 countries and is weighing other offers of aid for Hurricane Katrina victims, a State Department official said Wednesday.

Washington is trying to manage an influx of offers from 95 countries, the official explained, amid media reports that aid offers from abroad have been delayed for days, waiting for clearance from the US authorities.

"The last thing we want is to end up with something which is of no use," said Harry Thomas, executive secretary of the State Department, who is coordinating Washington's response to foreign governments offering aid.

According to a State Department list, which does not include military flights, the first aircraft bearing foreign aid was a British airplane laden with food rations that landed Monday in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Eleven more flights touched town Tuesday -- seven British, two French and two Italian -- in Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, the state directly north of Louisiana.

Eleven more were expected Wednesday at the same destination, including four British flights, two Russian, two Spanish, a Chinese and an Israeli flight. A French plane carrying cooking equipment, tents, jerricans, soap and blankets was headed either for Little Rock or Mobile, Alabama.

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Asia Vulnerable To New Orleans-Style Tragedy
Kobe, Japan (AFP) Sep 07, 2005
Hurricane Katrina should be a wake-up call that a similar cyclone or typhoon could strike Asia, which is home to nearly 90 percent of the world's natural disasters and has major vulnerabilities, a researcher said Wednesday.

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