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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 20:31 GMT
JCB machines in quake aid effort
Many cars were left damaged after the wave hit Phuket (picture: Maurice de Jong)
JCBs will help in the clear-up (picture: Maurice de Jong)
Digger firm JCB is donating one million US dollars (about 522,000) worth of equipment to help in the aftermath of the tsunami in south-east Asia.

The Staffordshire firm, based in Rocester, is making machines such as track excavators available to help the clear-up operation.

The initial donation, from stock held in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, is being offered immediately.

A total of 26 Britons were confirmed dead on Wednesday after the tsuami.

'Immediate assistance'

About 77,000 people are reported killed - many of them children - and millions are homeless, after the earthquake sent massive waves across the region.

The digger firm's chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said: "As we've watched the devastation in the region unfold, it is quite obvious that immediate assistance is needed to help in the aftermath of this disaster.

"JCB will make available as many machines as we can to help in the clear-up efforts.

"JCB has machines which suit the conditions in the disaster zone and to enable us to help swiftly with the disaster relief."

In 1999, the company's yellow diggers were used following an earthquake in Izmit, Turkey, which claimed the lives of thousands of people and destroyed 60,000 homes.

In 2001, the company was also part of the clear-up operation in Gujarat, India, where more than 20,000 lost their lives.




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