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China sends fresh water to Maldives

BEIJING — The Chinese government has given financial aid and flown 20 tons of drinking water to the Maldives on the request of its government, as a fire crippled a key desalination plant in the capital Male.

Water supplies to Male have been cut off since Dec 4. A Chinese navy ship which is on duty in the Indonesian Ocean is heading there with its own desalination facilities, and is due to arrive on Dec 8.

Maldives’ President Abdulla Ymeen has ordered the closure of government offices on Dec 7 and 8 as engineers struggled to repair the water purification facility.