Thousands of Indonesian earthquake refugees lacking food, medicine
Nearly 300 people huddled in make-shift refugee centers were suffering from diarrhoea, respiratory problems and other ailments, and only a few doctors and nurses were on hand to treat them, the Indonesian-language Kompas daily newspaper said.
Lack of medical personnel has directly affected the provincial government's ability to control the spread of disease, the newspaper said.
The quake, measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, hit last Thursday afternoon, destroying hundreds of buildings along a wide stretch of eastern Sulawesi and the islands of Peleng and Banggai.
Local officials said more than 14,000 houses and 237 government buildings were damaged, with at least 500 totally destroyed.
Disrupted roads and communication failures have hampered food and medicine deliveries to refugees and quake survivors in isolated areas, according to The Jakarta Post.
The newspaper said at least 46 people were confirmed dead on Tuesday and another 280 others were injured.
Last August, the Banggai area, located 1,600 kilometres northeast of Jakarta, was also hit by a quake that measured 6 on the Richter scale, which destroyed numerous buildings but caused no casualties.
dpa sh jc
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 05/10/2000 05:14:47
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