India offers disaster relief to bushfires-hit Australia

February 11th, 2009 - 12:51 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) India Tuesday conveyed “deep condolences” to families of the victims of the bushfires in Australia and offered assistance in disaster relief.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee rang up his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith and “conveyed deep condolences and sympathies to the families of the deceased and victims of the bushfires in the State of Victoria”.

“He conveyed India’s readiness to provide any assistance in the disaster relief and management that Australia may require,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

The toll from the deadliest wildfires in Australia’s history is likely to surpass 200, Australian authorities said.

The Australian police suspect that some of the 400 bushfires were caused by arson. Australian premier Kevin Rudd has termed the bushfires “murder on a grand scale”.

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