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Buddhist temple in Tampa donates housing to tsunami victims

AP, July 5, 2005

TAMPA, Florida (USA) -- A Buddhist temple in Tampa is donating money for the construction of houses for people in tsunami-torn Sri Lanka.

<< The tsunami disaster left close to one million people homeless on Sri Lanka and more than 30,000 dead (File pic)

Last month, builders broke ground on the first of 16 houses to be built with $104,000 raised by Florida Buddhist Vihara temple in Tampa from donors across the state.

The 16 houses will be built on the southern tip of the island, on land allocated by the Sri Lankan government.

The houses will cost about $5,000 each and are designed to be about 540 square feet, with two bedrooms, a detached bathroom, a veranda, a pantry-slash-kitchen, and a living room.

They should be completed in two or three months.

About 50 people are working to build the houses. Some of the structures already have foundations and concrete brick walls.

The December 26th tsunami left close to one million people homeless on Sri Lanka and more than 30,000 dead.

The overall toll in the 11 affected countries is about 180,000. About 49,000 are missing, with most presumed dead.

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