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US Embassy officials visit Tatras

REPRESENTATIVES of the US Embassy in Slovakia inspected the situation in the devastated High Tatras January 4, the TASR news agency wrote.

The officials visited the region together with Vysoké Tatry Mayor Ján Mokoš, Michal Sýkora, chairman of the Association of Slovak Towns and Villages, and later with Milan Baran, head of the District Office in Poprad.

The US Embassy representatives expressed interest in contributing to clearing operations and relief efforts.

"We talked about the possibilities of relief efforts in order to revitalize the Tatra forests, implementation of flood-protection measures and other issues," said Baran.

The visitors were also interested in training members of the crisis centre, he added.

On November 19, rare hurricane-strength winds felled or severely damaged 24,000 of the 46,000 hectares of the forest that blankets much of the famous mountain range in North Slovakia. Two people were killed.

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