No South African victims in Indonesian quakes

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pretoria - There were no South African victims in the recent Indonesian quakes, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation has confirmed.

"The South African government wishes to put it on record that at this stage there are no South African nationals reported to have been involved in the Indonesian earthquakes," spokesperson Nomfanelo Kota said.

In a statement, the department expressed its condolences to the families of people who died in the quakes.

"At these trying moments, the prayers and thoughts of the South African government and people go to the families of the deceased people in the countries affected by these disasters," the department said, referring also to the quake-induced tsunami that devastated the Samoan islands and Tonga.

Indonesia was struck by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday and a second quake yesterday.

The United Nations (UN) estimates that 1 100 people have been killed and more than 500 buildings destroyed or damaged and still more left homeless.

Meanwhile, a UN team is in Indonesia to survey the damage in the wake of these disasters.

The UN team, comprising members from the World Health Organisation, the UN Children's Fund, UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination and others, have arrived in the city of Padang, in Sumatra.

Medical supplies, petrol, generators, sanitation equipment, food and shelter equipment have been identified as priority needs.

The Indonesian Government, which has mobilised an emergency fund of $10 million so far, said it welcomed international assistance, with telecommunication, electricity and water supplies having been cut off. Roads have been cut off due to landslides.