JINDO, South Korea, April 20 (Xinhua) -- South Korea is considering designating the site of the tragic ferry sinking accident as a special disaster zone to provide victims with the government-wide rapid assistance, the emergency management headquarters said Sunday.
Prime Minister Chung Hong-won will hold a meeting of related ministers Sunday morning at Jindo Island where the pan-government emergency management headquarters is located.
Chung and ministers will discuss whether to designate Jindo and Ansan as special disaster zones as physical and psychological damages continued to grow among victims of the deadly ferry sinking accident.
The 6,825-ton passenger ship, "Sewol," capsized and sank off the Jindo Island, South Korea's southwestern tip, on Wednesday. The upturned ship carried 476 passengers and crew, including 325 students and 15 teachers from the Danwon High School in Ansan, a Seoul suburb, on their way to the resort island of Jeju for a four-day field trip.
So far 36 people have been confirmed dead and 174 rescued, leaving 266 others still missing.
The headquarters said the government-wide assistance should be provided given growing damages to the victims, especially family members of the missing who have gathered at an indoor gym in Jindo Island and waited for news on search and rescue operations.
After deliberating on the issue, the areas will be declared as special disaster zones by President Park Geun-hye.