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Tuesday, 23 November, 1999, 19:46 GMT
Emergency relief ends in Orissa
The cyclone uprooted trees near these ancient Hindu temples

Officials in the eastern Indian state of Orissa say they have decided to end some emergency relief operations put in place after last month's devastating cyclone.

Orissa: After the storm
However they said that free food would continue to be distributed to some 500,000 people in eight of the most severely-affected districts.

The chief minister of the state, Giridhar Gamang, told the BBC that his government was working on a plan to generate employment in devastated coastal areas.

He said people were very keen to get back to work, but their primary occupation, agriculture, had been severely affected by the storm.

Most of the people living in the worst-affected areas have been unable to return to their farms, and are dependent almost entirely on food given to them by the state.

The chief minister said more than two million polythene sheets were needed for temporary roofs - the government had only been able to supply about 500,000.

Dutch relief

Meanwhile, the Dutch Government has promised $2.3m of humanitarian aid towards the cyclone relief effort.

Food will continue to be distributed
Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, who is on a visit to Delhi, also pledged long-term assistance towards rebuilding Orissa's infrastructure.

"Netherlands will provide assistance for long-term measures like rebuilding schools and the construction of cyclone shelters along the state's coastline," officials quoted Mr Kok as saying.

Experts have placed the cost of damage to Orissa's infrastructure at more than $2.3bn.

The Orissa administration is reported to have urged the Dutch premier to ask the European Union to help with the many homeless cyclone victims.

The storm killed close to 10,000 people. Aid agencies fear the toll could be closer to 20,000 because many bodies have been washed out to sea.

More than a million people are estimated to have lost their homes.

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See also:
14 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Race to cremate cyclone corpses
15 Nov 99 |  South Asia
In pictures: Orissa two weeks on
12 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Analysis: Orissa's history of neglect
15 Nov 99 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Life and death in Orissa
12 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Funds pledged as Orissa toll climbs
12 Nov 99 |  South Asia
In pictures: Salvaging Orissa
07 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Disease grips cyclone state
08 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Cyclone relief stepped up
13 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Cholera epidemic feared in Orissa

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