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Centre extends Rs 25 crore assistance to Pondicherry

December 27, 2004 14:37 IST

An emergency central assistance of Rs 25 crore will be given to Pondicherry to carry out relief work following the devastation caused by tsunamis, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil announced on Monday.

Patil told reporters in Pondicherry that more financial assistance would be given after authorities made an assessment of the damage.

On his arrival at the airport, local authorities gave Patil a brief presentation about the situation saying over 372 people had lost their lives and the Union territory has suffered an estimated damage to the tune of over Rs 300 crore.

While 72 people lost their lives in Pondicherry, 300 had died in nearby Karaikal and 900 people were still missing. About 50 bodies were floating in the sea waters and arrangements were being made to bring them to the shore.

Over 1,000 people injured in the tragedy were being treated and 15,000 houses suffered damage. Relief camps have been opened in Pondicherry and Karaikal where 55,000 people have been lodged.

Lt Governor M M Lakhera and Chief Minister N Rangaswamy were present during the presentation. The local administration has already announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 100,000 to the next of kin of the dead and Rs 5,000 to the injured persons.

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