Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Russia takes urgent measures to evacuate Russian nationals from New Orleans

The Russian embassy can presently confirm that there were ten Russian citizens staying on the disastrous territory

The precise number of Russian citizens stranded in the US Gulf Coast still remains unknown. The work to identify the whereabouts of Russian nationals in New Orleans continues. Russian ambassador to the USA, Yury Ushakov, claimed that previous news messages saying that about 100 Russian people had been reported missing in New Orleans appeared as a result of misunderstanding.

”This figure reflects the total number of inquiries received by US-based Russian institutions from people, who worry about their relatives in the USA,” the ambassador said. “It does not mean that those Russians, whom relatives are trying to establish contacts with, are staying in the area that suffered from Hurricane Katrina. They can be resting or working somewhere else on the other side of the country. There have already been such incidents before,” Ushakov said.

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According to the Russian ambassador, the embassy can presently confirm that there were ten Russian citizens staying on the disastrous territory. Spokespeople for the Russian embassy in the USA established individual contacts with them to help the Russian citizens with their evacuation. Those people are safe, Itar Tass reported.

The ambassador added that 35 Russian citizens had been evacuated from the flooded city before. “Many others left the USA before the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast,” said he. Yury Ushakov confirmed that some people declined any assistance in the evacuation: they were certain that they would be able to handle the situation themselves.

In the meantime, it became known Friday that two students from the Russian city of Tambov had been missing in New Orleans. The two students arrived in the USA from the Tambov Technical University for their practical studies. The information on the above was received from Lyudmila Solomatin, the mother of one of the missing students. The woman said that her son, Sergei Solomatin, and his fellow-students, Maksim Kot, had been living and studying in the US city for two months and were supposed to return home to Russia at the end of September. The students originally lived in a hotel, but later rented a small cottage to save funds.

”I received the last phone call from my son on August 29. He told me that they were aware of the coming hurricane. They stocked up food, water and barricaded themselves on the second storey of the house. I have never received any news from him afterwards,” the woman said.

The Russian students, who have been evacuated from New Orleans to Houston, Texas, intend to return home to Moscow during the forthcoming several days. The Consulate General of Russia in Houston renders adequate assistance to the students.

The press secretary of the Russian embassy in Washington, Evgeni Khorishko, said that a group of 18 students, which included one citizen of Latvia, had been evacuated from the disastrous area by buses. In Houston, the students were accommodated in the houses of Russian-speaking Americans.

The Russian embassy in Washington and the Consulate General in Houston continues to maintain contacts with US federal agencies to render all necessary help to Russian citizens in the USA and evacuate ten other Russians who still stay in New Orleans.

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