Red Cross: 118,000 people listed on Web site to reunite families separated by Katrina

Wednesday, September 7th 2005, 1:27 pm
By: News On 6

GENEVA (AP) _ The international Red Cross Web site aimed at reuniting families separated by Hurricane Katrina has registered 118,000 names since it went online less than a week ago, a spokesman said Wednesday.

About one-third of the people registered live in devastated Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, while the rest lived elsewhere and were looking for someone in those states, said Florian Westphal, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

``Obviously people are quite desperate,'' Westphal said.

Since the Web site was created, the ICRC has been getting about 500 e-mails a day from people asking to be removed from the list because they had been reunited with family members or friends.

``They wouldn't necessarily tell us it was due to the site,'' he said. ``They may have done that by other means.''

Westphal said the ICRC has a staff of 15, including temporary employees hired because of the hurricane, working in Geneva to handle the e-mails.

``We are absolutely answering every single e-mail we are getting. That's very important for us,'' he said.

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