Apple has begun collecting donations for the American Red Cross and its hurricane relief efforts through iTunes.

Hurricane Katrina exploded across several US states this week, causing severe loss of life, a critical collapse of infrastructure, and creating a million refugees, mainly from among the poorest citizens of the country.

American blues legend Fats Domino is also missing in the flood. He and his wife had elected to sit through the storm at his New Orleans home.

Apple says: “The devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with those struggling in the aftermath of this disaster. As victims of this natural disaster are attempting to recover, American Red Cross volunteers have been deployed to the hardest hit areas of Katrina's destruction, supplying hundreds of thousands of victims left homeless with critical necessities. By making a financial gift to Hurricane 2005 Relief, the Red Cross can provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need. We urge you to contribute to this worthy cause.”

Apple is accepting donations between $5 and $200. All money raised collected is being handed over to the Red Cross.

The fund-raising effort currently only appears available through Apple’s US iTunes Music Store.