S Korea ferry disaster: Seoul considers declaring special disaster zones

S Korea ferry disaster: Seoul considers declaring special disaster zones
South Korean Navy's divers try to rescue missing passengers

SEOUL - The Korean government is considering declaring the areas connected to the deadly ship sinking on Wednesday special disaster zones.

"There is a need for swift, government-level support for the area as physical and emotional damages to Ansan city and Jindo-gun are growing," an official from the Prime Minister's office said Saturday.

Ansan is the location of the high school attended by the 325 students aboard the sunken ship. Only 75 out of the 325 students have been rescued with the remaining 250 still missing since their 6,825-ton passenger ship, Sewol, sank in waters off Jindo early Wednesday.

Once declared a special disaster zone, the areas will be entitled to additional government support, including up to 80 per cent of the costs associated with the disaster.

Such a declaration is made by the president following a review and approval by a state commission on public safety, the official from the prime minister's office said.

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