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American Red Cross urged to help Harvey victims

Washington: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has urged the American Red Cross to “honour its promises” to help in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that lashed the state of Texas last month.

More than $300 million have been donated to the Red Cross after Harvey battered the city of Houston and nearby regions after it made landfall on August 25, reports Xinhua news agency.

Turner on Friday said he understands that helping people on this scale is difficult, but the organisation should give proper answers to doubts about how it spends the donated money.

“If you promise people something, you got to make it happen… Otherwise don’t promise at all,” he said.

Many Harvey survivors have claimed that they were not getting the assistance promised by the organisation, specifically the $400 promised to every family that survived the flood.

The Red Cross said its system for the programme went down on Monday.

Later on Friday, the Red Cross said that it would launch a website on September 21 to handle all registrations, which will remain open until October 10.

Severely impacted households from 39 Texas counties can apply for the $400.

Last week, Houston City Councilman Dave Martin urged residents not to donate their money to the “inept” and “unorganised” Red Cross.

Martin also questioned why the Red Cross appears to be taking credit for relief efforts in Houston when the local government has been doing most of the work.

Harvey was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, displacing more than 1 million people and damaging some 200,000 houses in its path of destruction that stretched for over 480 km.

The Houston area was hit by severe flooding, after receiving about 1.4 metres of rain.

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