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Annan expresses sympathy for Hurricane Katrina victims

Annan expresses sympathy for Hurricane Katrina victims

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today expressed his sympathy for victims of Hurricane Katrina in the United States and extended condolences to those affected by the storm.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General said he is deeply saddened by the loss of life and large-scale destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina along the US Gulf Coast. He also extended condolences to all the victims and their families, it added.

“I hope, in the coming weeks, all will be done to provide support for those who need it,” Mr. Annan said later at a press briefing. “There has to be effective coordination in these efforts. And I think efforts are being made to ensure that assets are in place and effective coordination is organized because without that, it is going to be very, very difficult to get urgent help to all those who need it, and to help them rebuild,” he said in response to a question.

Earlier this week Sálvano Briceño, Director of the Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), called for more systematic prevention and mitigation measures, noting that the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina and recent deadly floods in Central Europe and Switzerland prove that anyone can be affected, any day, anywhere by natural disaster.

He also said that recent weather-rated catastrophes provide an opportune moment for the media to pass the message that it is important for all to be prepared in the future.