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Centre chalks out emergency plans

December 26, 2004 17:19 IST

The Centre's Crisis Management Group on Sunday met and drew up an emergency plan to carry out relief and rescue operations in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Kerala, which were hit by tsunamis triggered by a massive earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

More than 1,000 people have reportedly died, with Tamil Nadu (more than 800 deaths), being the worst affected.

The ministries of defence, civil aviation and shipping and the three services of the armed forces will coordinate the operations with Chennai being the main hub, Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi said after a CMG meeting.

Among the things, discussed, according to Chaturvedi, were steps to evacuate the tourists trapped in Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and facilitate travel for those wishing to move out of the affected areas.

He said the government has already taken many initiatives and is providing medicines and power-generating sets run on diesel.

Chaturvedi described the damage caused by the tsunamis as extensive, but did not provide any details. "I am not going into the numbers and I am not going into the extent of damage..." he said.

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