Veteran rocker Dr John has blamed the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans on the failure of successive US governments to combat the slowly eroding wetlands around the Louisiana city.

The SUCH A NIGHT singer, who grew up in New Orleans, is urging people to donate whatever they can afford to the disaster relief fund.

Dr John - real name MAC REBENNACK - says, "If anybody in the government would've done something about the disappearing wetlands for the past 50 years, then this probably wouldn't have been as bad.

"It makes me think of what my friend Reverend Goat just told me, 'Let me say this before it goes any further, New Orleans didn't die of natural causes, she was murdered.'"