At least 45,000 home­less af­ter Aceh quake in In­done­sia

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH -

At least 45,000 peo­ple have been dis­placed by the pow­er­ful earth­quake that hit In­done­sia's Aceh prov­ince, author­i­ties said Satur­day, as the gov­ern­ment and aid agen­cies pooled ef­forts to meet the ba­sic sur­vival needs of shaken com­mu­ni­ties.

The es­ti­mate of the num­ber of home­less peo­ple con­tin­ues to grow while re­lief ef­forts fan out across the three districts near the epi­cen­ter of Wed­nes­day's mag­ni­tude 6.5 quake, Na­tional Dis­as­ter Mit­i­ga­tion Agency spokesman Su­topo Purwo Nu­groho told a press con­fer­ence. "The ba­sic needs of refugees must be met dur­ing the evac­u­a­tion," the agency said in state­ment.

Hu­man­i­tar­ian groups are now co­or­di­nat­ing their ef­forts from a main com­mand post in the worst af­fected district Pi­die Jaya, the agency said. At least 100 peo­ple were killed and hun­dreds in­jured in the quake, which also de­stroyed or dam­aged more than 11,000 build­ings, mostly homes but also sev­eral hun­dred mosques and schools. The dis­placed are stay­ing in tem­po­rary shel­ters and mosques or with rel­a­tives.

On Satur­day, snif­fer dogs were again used in the search for bod­ies and pos­si­ble sur­vivors in the dev­as­tated town of Meureudu, where a mar­ket filled with shop houses was largely flat­tened. Four other lo­ca­tions in Pi­die Jaya are also the fo­cus of search ef­forts. Pres­i­dent Joko "Jokowi" Wi­dodo trav­eled Fri­day to worst-hit ar­eas of the prov­ince and promised to re­build com­mu­ni­ties.

Aus­tralia's gov­ern­ment said on Satur­day it will pro­vide 1 mil­lion Aus­tralian dol­lars ($750,000) of hu­man­i­tar­ian aid through the In­done­sian Red Cross. For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop said Aus­tralia is ready to re­spond to ad­di­tional re­quests for as­sis­tance from the In­done­sian gov­ern­ment. — AP

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