Millions of people have evacuated parts of the Southern US as hurricane Gustav approaches the coast.

US authorities have ordered the evacuation of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana has declared a state of emergency.

Hurricane Gustav has already killed more than 80 people in the Caribbean, causing damage in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

The hurricane which is a category three storm is expected to reach category 4 before reaching the US.

The Foreign Office has revealed that all hotels in New Orleans are closed and 17 evacuation centres have been set up to house evacuees.

A team from the Houston Consulate General has been despatched to evacuation centres in northern Louisiana in case there are any UK nationals in need of assistance.  

Satellite image: Hurricane Gustav over Cuba

Hurricane Gustav over Cuba: Image courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project at NASA/GSFC
Image courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project at NASA/GSFC