Aid arrives in quake-hit Indonesia

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Indonesia - Aid from domestic donors and foreign countries have arrived in the West Sumatra province of Indonesia, where a 7.6-magnitude quake hit on Wednesday.

The quake, which levelled more than 22 000 buildings and damaged over 16 000 others, left thousands of people homeless. Many have begun living in simple makeshift buildings.

So far, it has been predicted that more than 1 000 people have been killed by the catastrophe.

Foreign aid in the form of human forces, equipment, medicine, food and tents has already arrived in the province. Earlier, the Indonesian government said the country did not need much logistic assistance.

Japan, Australia, China's Hong Kong, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Singapore, Germany, South Korea and Malaysia have all sent aid to assist the country.

The United Nations, the European Commission, foreign non-governmental organizations have also provided assistance, according to information from the United Nations.

The country's Army Chief of Staff, Agus Sasongko, said Indonesian military were standing ready to help in distributing the aid as it was difficult to cross certain parts of the quake-hit area on land.

"The aid distribution will be helped with helicopters," he said, adding that they would be involved in relief efforts for up to two months.

Survivor, Yulimar, who lost a daughter in the quake, said she hoped to receive financial aid to pay for her medical bills.

The 50-year-old, who is currently receiving treatment in hospital, said her younger sister also hoped the government would help her rebuild her house which had collapsed.