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the dalai lama at prayerDharamshala: - The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on June 24 sent a letter of condolence to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the great loss of lives and damage to property caused by the recent floods in Uttarakhand state of India.

"In letters to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his sadness at the loss of life and property as a result of unprecedented flooding and landslides during heavy monsoon rains in Uttarakhand," said in the condolence message issued by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's office.

The letter said that "His Holiness, having just returned to India from an extended visit to New Zealand and Australia, expressed his deep condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in this calamity."
"As a token of sympathy, The Dalai Lama Trust is making a contributions to the relief efforts of both the state and central governments," said the condolence message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

So far, over 80,000 people have been evacuated, including 12,000 today, to safer areas in the rain-ravaged state with some 10,000 people still stranded in various places, DG, Press Information Bureau Neelam Kapur said in Delhi.

"At least 5,000 people must have been killed in the deluge that inflicted heavy damage on vast tracts of land especially in Kedarnath valley," Disaster Management Minister Yashpal Arya told reporters at Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun, on his return from an aerial survey of affected areas.

The official death toll as of June 23 was 680 and Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Monday said the death toll is likely to be around 1,000.

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