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Centre intensifies relief operations
December 28, 2004 20:02 IST
The Centre on Tuesday mounted operations to provide relief to areas, especially the Car Nicobar island, ravaged by the tsunami waves on Sunday.
An official spokesman said in New Delhi that relief supplies from Kerala, Orissa and Gujarat were lifted to the Car Nicobar island on Monday.
Relief materials have also been arranged from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa, Gujarat and Delhi on Tuesday, which will soon be airlifted to the island, the spokesman said.
He said Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have also offered assistance and the logistics are being worked out.
A senior official of the Central government has been deputed to the island, one of the worst hit, to coordinate relief and rescue operations, he said.
The spokesman said the death toll has crossed 4,300 and is likely to go up further, as many bodies are yet to be retrieved, especially in the Nicobar islands and Tamil Nadu.
Several flights have been operated to Port Blair from Chennai and Kolkata to evacuate stranded people, including tourists, he said.
Medical teams with emergency stores have also been despatched to the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Two Coast Guard ships with relief materials and medical team left for Campbell Bay on Monday, while one naval ship and one Coast Guard ship left for Hut Bay, the spokesman said. Two Dornier aircraft dropped food and water at the two bays, he added.
In Andhra Pradesh, the spokesman said, about 300 villages have been seriously affected. Medical teams have been despatched to the state, he said.
Four Coast Guard ships have been deployed off Kakinada, Nellore and Krishna Godavari basin for search and rescue operations, he said. Four Naval ships have been operating off the Tamil Nadu and Andhra coast, he added.
The spokesman said that in Tamil Nadu, about 500 villages have been affected, while in Pondicherry at least 25 have been affected.
One IL-76 plane with relief material is being airlifted from Mumbai for Pondicherry, he added.
The spokesman said India has moved six MI-17 helicopters to Colombo to help the Sri Lankan authorities in search and rescue operations.
For Maldives, 5.5 metric tonnes of food packets were despatched on Monday, while another 2.5 metric tonnes of such packets will be sent on Tuesday, he said.
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