UP TO 75,000 tourists are thought to have been caught
up in the mass evacuation of the US East Coast caused by Hurricane Isabel.

Winds in excess of 100mph are beginning to lash parts
of North Carolina and Virginia. The Category 2 storm is expected to move
northwards towards New York.

The severe weather warning caused headaches for US and
UK carriers, including British Airways, Virgin, BMI and United, with a number
of services to Washington and Baltimore cancelled on Thursday. Passengers were
being rebooked on to flights later in the week or rerouted via New York and
Chicago.

A number of cruises were also affected, with Carnival
forced to divert Carnival Legend, Carnival Triumph and Paradise from their
Eastern Caribbean course.

Norwegian Cruise Line was planning to divert its
planned Norwegian Dawn Bahamas itinerary if conditions worsened, while Princess
Cruises and Holland America Line were monitoring the situation.

UK tourists needing help or advice can
call the British Embassy in Washington on a hurricane hotline. The number is
1-202-588-7806