Medical evaluation plan to assist injured in East Timor

The Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has approved the activation of a mass casualty evacuation plan to bring injured people from East Timor to Darwin for treatment.
Two critically injured East Timorese police officers have been transported and another eight injured patients are expected to be in Darwin tonight under the Australian Government National Response Plan for Mass Casualty Incident Involving Australian Overseas (OSMASSCASPLAN), managed by Emergency Management Australia within the Attorney-General's Department.

The plan facilitates either Defence aircraft or commercial flights to be used to evacuate injured people requiring urgent medical treatment, and coordinates resources and personnel across all government agencies.

Meanwhile, evacuees from East Timor continue to take advantage of the Australian Government's offer of transport to Darwin. To date, nine ADF and other commercial flights have carried 318 people out of Dili - of which 170 have been Australian as well as other approved third country nationals from the UK, the United States, South America, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the Philippines.

"Emergency Management Australia has deployed three experienced emergency management liaison officers to Darwin to coordinate the ongoing evacuation," Mr Ruddock said.

"Of yesterday's flights only 13 evacuees required overnight accommodation at a temporary facility at Berrimah in Darwin, but capacity is available should more require a place to stay when they arrive."

EMA has now activated four of its national emergency plans - the latest is the Australian Government Overseas Disaster Assistance Plan (AUSASSISTPLAN) which has been activated in anticipation of a formal request for assistance by Indonesia following the 6.3 strength earthquake in Java yesterday. More than 3000 people were killed and many injured in the earthquake near Yogyakarta.

Potential damage from two other earthquakes - a 6.2 strength earthquake in the New Britain region of Papua New Guinea and a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in the region of Tonga - will also continue to be monitored by EMA.