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Dharamshala, India: In a letter to the Chief Minister of Orissa dated 29 September, the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote:

"I am saddened to know that some of the worst floods ever seen in Orissa have resulted in the loss of many lives and a great deal of property, wreaking havoc on millions of people in your state.

"As a token of my sympathy and concern for this disaster, I am making a donation of Rs. 10 lakhs (Ten lakh rupees) from The Dalai Lama Trust to support the relief work. I understand that a team of volunteers from the Tibetan Settlement in Chandragiri, Ganjam District is also on its way to give help in the flood affected areas."

According to officials, the floods have affected more than 2.1 million people in 3,128 villages. More than 80 people have died in flood-related incidents, and some areas have been cut off by rising waters.

The state government said 368 relief camps and free kitchen centres have been opened in the affected areas and food relief provided to nearly 200,000 people so far. The number of dwelling houses damaged by the floods was more than 31,000, the official said.

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