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Authorities blame travel agencies

Norwegian authorities blame travel agencies that it took four days until evacuation of Norwegian citizens started after the tidal wave hit South East Asia.

Norwegian authorises have been greatly criticized for the way the catastrophe was handled. Finland evacuated several hundred of its countrymen before Norwegian authorities had even decided to send a plane, reported the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

Bjarne Lindstrøm at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the reason why it took so long before the authorities acted was that the travel agencies said they would manage to evacuate the guests themselves.

«We had a meeting with the travel agencies and the Federation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises Monday,» Lindstrøm stated. «We were informed that they had capacity to deal with the situation. Not until 24 hours later came another message, and we were asked to assist Tuesday morning. At that time we contacted Swedish and Danish authorities, and together we contacted SAS and entered into an agreement Wednesday to charter ten planes.»

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