International charity Architecture for Humanity has launched a fundraising campaign in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The charity - which is run by New York-based British architect Cameron Sinclair - is calling for cash donations to aid local architects rebuilding the shattered region.
A state of emergency has now been declared in four states - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Approximately 52,000 people are in 240 shelters throughout the Gulf Coast area, with the majority in the New Orleans Superdome. In Mississippi, streets and homes were flooded as far as six miles inland.
The charity accepts that it is currently impossible to assess the full scale of the disaster but is determined to waste no time in raising money.
In a statement issued last night the charity said that the priority was to start work as soon as possible. 'When a disaster strikes in our own backyard we feel compelled to assist where possible,' it says.
'While it is too early to determine the full extent of the damage caused by the storm, Architecture for Humanity is appealing for donations to support the work of local architects in the reconstruction and repair of the region's hardest hit areas.'
For further information, visit www.architectureforhumanity.orgby Ed Dorrell