The local branch of the International Red Cross has received $263,000 in unsolicited donations for victims of Hurricane Katrina in the United States. After a slow start, efforts across Hong Kong to raise cash for the storm's victims are gathering steam. The American Club has set up a condolence table on the 48th floor of its Central clubhouse for members to make donations to the Red Cross. A spokeswoman for the club said the response so far has been encouraging but it was still too early to say how much had been raised. Senior international relief officer Sally Airs said donations to the Red Cross would be earmarked for hurricane relief efforts by the organisation's American branch, which is focused on sheltering and feeding 160,000 Hurricane Katrina victims in 670 shelters across 17 states. 'Especially with the China floods that we have had and the tsunami at the beginning of the year, it's been a generous response,' she said. Richard Mueller, former US consul-general to Hong Kong and Macau, said Americans living in Hong Kong were finding ways to help. 'Whether its sending money or volunteering for different activities, I can tell you people are watching very closely. It is truly an enormous disaster,' he said. Mr Mueller's son Eric, a former student at the Hong Kong International School, is part of a 75-member volunteer federal task force being sent to New Orleans to help search and rescue operations. 'I am absolutely proud of him. He's doing it on a volunteer basis and does it because he cares about people,' Mr Mueller said. The American Chamber of Commerce has written to the governor of the state of Mississippi pledging moral support.