Message from the government of Québec following the devastation caused by Katrina

Québec City, August 31, 2005 - On behalf of the government and all Quebecers, the Minister of International Relations, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, wishes to express her sincere sympathies to all those who were so sorely affected by the devastation caused by Katrina in the southern United States.

“We now know that Katrina is one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the United States. The scenes of desolation on our television screens show the extent to which the lives of millions of people can be dramatically affected when the fury of the elements is unleashed. All Quebecers share the pain of their American neighbors,” said Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay. The Minister also expressed her deepest sympathies to the governors of the hard-hit states.

The Minister noted that Québec authorities had quickly contacted civil authorities in the United States to offer their help. American authorities warmly thanked their Québec counterparts for the quick offer of assistance and told them that they were still in the rescue effort stages and were evaluating both the scope of the disaster and the most pressing needs.

The governments of Québec and those affected by Katrina agreed to remain in constant contact to be able to respond quickly to the needs once they are identified. Assistance could be required in the areas of public health, civil engineering and security.

Quebecers may contact the Emergency Operations Centre of Foreign Affairs Canada at 1-800-267-6788 or (613) 944-6788 to find out whether any family or friends were in the area affected by the hurricane. Anyone who would like to send a donation to help those affected by the disaster may also contact the Canadian Red Cross.

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