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Swiss raise millions for Asia disaster victims

A nationwide fundraiser to help victims of Asia's recent string of natural disasters has amassed more than SFr6 million ($5.81 million), organisers said on Saturday.

The bulk of the donations, about SFr5 million, came on Friday during a daylong Swiss Solidarity drive. Combined with funds donated in the days before, total contributions should soar to more than SFr6.25 million, officials said.

About 300 people contributed to the effort on Friday with donations that ranged from a couple of francs to SFr100,000.

The money will be used to finance projects to help those in typhoon-ravished regions of Southeast Asia, earthquake survivors on Sumatra and flood victims in India.

The fundraising effort is ongoing. Forms to make donations are available in Swiss post offices nationwide. Gifts can also be sent online through Swiss Solidarity. The account number is CP 10-15 000-6, and donations should be marked "Asia". and agencies