Indonesia

Australia helps victims of earthquake in Indonesia's Papua Province

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News and Press Release
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MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER

AA 02 068

I am pleased to announce that Australia will contribute $100,000 to help the victims of the recent devastating earthquake in Indonesia's Papua Province.

The contribution will be made through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Appeal, which is providing emergency non-food commodities such as plastic sheeting and family kits to about 4,000 people affected by the disaster.

The earthquake, centred on the Manokwari region of north-western Papua, occurred on 10 October 2002 and measured 7.6 on the Richter scale. It was followed by several strong aftershocks and then a second quake, measuring 6.2, hit the Province on 18 October, not far along the coast from the original quake.

Local authorities reported eight deaths and 632 people injured, six of them seriously. About 1,000 homes were recorded as severely damaged and a number of mosques, churches, office buildings, schools, about 30km of road and five bridges were damaged to some degree.

Due to the remoteness of the affected area, detailed reports on damage did not emerge until several days after the earthquake. At the time there was an international focus on the Bali bombing, which may have contributed to a muted international response to appeals for assistance.

Australia is therefore pleased to be able to assist the victims, and also the Indonesian authorities, by contributing to the IFRC Appeal.

Media contacts:

Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 or 0419 206 890
Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489