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Pranab seeks armed forces' help for rescue operations

As cyclone 'Aila' brought life in West Bengal to a halt, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today spoke to Defence Minister A K Antony and sought assistance of the armed forces to help the civil administration in rescue operations.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2009 06:29 PM IST

As cyclone 'Aila' brought life in West Bengal to a halt, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today spoke to Defence Minister A K Antony and sought assistance of the armed forces to help the civil administration in rescue operations.

Soon after assuming charge of the Finance Ministry, Mukherjee called up Antony seeking help from the armed forces for rescue operations, officials said on day.

Mukherjee told Antony that the Sundarbans, the habitat of Royal Bengal Tiger, have been badly affected by the cyclone and early assistance is required there.

The Finance Minister also called up Home Minister P Chidambaram and WB chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to asses the situation.

Three persons were killed in the metropolis and seven others injured with hundreds of mud houses collapsing in neighbouring districts as cyclone 'Aila' hit the state today. The army has been alerted by the state authorities.

All flights, including international ones, at the N S C Bose International Airport were suspended from 1400 hrs due to the storm.

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