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Red Cross: Katrina effort 'eclipses' all

DENVER, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The American Red Cross said Saturday it is helping more than 96,0000 evacuees in more than 350 shelters in nine states hit by Hurricane Katrina.

In a news release issued from its Denver office, the Red Cross said nearly 100 more locations are on standby to serve as shelters. The organization is working with medical professionals to open sites where health and emotional support services can be available for evacuating families.

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The Red Cross said its volunteers had distributed more than 137,588 meals since Friday in a relief effort "which eclipses all past relief efforts mounted by the Red Cross."

The organization said its National Response Call Centers have taken 43,266 calls since August 25. The Denver-based call center reported handling an average of 1,300 calls per day.

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