Minister advises Australians not to visit hurricane zones

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer has given a blunt message to Australians who complain about the lack of assistance given to them by the Federal Government while they are overseas. Mr Downer was responding to a suggestion his department was not doing enough for a group of Australians caught in Hurricane Wilma in the Mexican resort town of Cancun.

He says he is aware of the criticism made after Hurricane Katrina, but not aware of any comments relating to Wilma.

"If you're worried about hurricanes overseas, then don't go to hurricane zones - that's my advice, don't blame the Government," he said.

The parents of several Sydney men have expressed joy upon finding out their sons are safe after being stranded in the Mexican resort town of Cancun because of Hurricane Wilma.

The group of six Australians helped provide food to other tourists stranded in an underground car park.

The group, including some National Rugby League players, had been holidaying when the hurricane hit and survived by staying underneath a shopping plaza before being moved to a hotel this morning.

Kate Davies says her son Simon is with the group and contacted her overnight.

She says at one point during the night, the group were allowed up into the shopping centre to gather supplies.

"They emptied a suitcase and went up to the supermarket and filled it with food," she said.

"They had great pleasure in feeding the mothers and little children that had - you know other tourists that were stranded there - that made them feel really good to be able to do that.

She says Simon called at about midnight AEST, saying the worst was over.

"Oh, absolutely thrilled. We sort of all woke up this morning with a smile on our face, not that we've really been asleep," she said. Stuart Monaghan, the father of Sydney Roosters player Joel and his brother Michael, who is the Manly Sea Eagles captain, says the boys found ways of dealing with the situation, reports ABS news. I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team