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Multinational armada steams toward wave-ravaged shores SINGAPORE - A U.S. carrier battle group was steaming to take up position Friday off Indonesia's Sumatra island to spearhead an unprecedented multinational military effort to assist the survivors of last weekend's quake and tsunamis. A second U.S. marine strike group was meanwhile steaming westward from the Pacific territory of Guam for the seas off Sri Lanka to buttress the burgeoning global drive to bring water, medical supplies to millions of increasingly desperate people.
Other nations also rushed to join the seaborne effort, as naval ships from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and India either prepared to sail Friday or Saturday, or were already under way for Aceh, Sumatra's northernmost province and the area closest to the quake. Led by the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the five-ship battle group was powering Friday through the Strait of Malacca, the 900-kilometer (550-mile) waterway that lies between Sumatra and peninsula Malaysia.
Aceh is at its northern end. The seven-vessel Guam group, headed by the USS Bonhomie Richard, will arrive off Sri Lanka in a week, US officials said. "The United States is not there to take over the rescue or relief effort,'' an unnamed official said. "We are there to provide whatever help they decide they need.'' In addition to the two U.S. vessel groups, a further eight US supply ships were also sailing from Guam and Diego Garcia toward quake-hit regions, officials said, without saying which countries they were headed to.
Between them, the supply ships carry 450,000 gallons of water, and are capable of making a further 90,000 gallons daily. In the skies above, dozens of planes and helicopters - both military and civil - converged on Medan, the largest town in North Sumatra, as well as Banda Aceh, the provincial capital of Aceh, where tens of thousands of people are now known to have perished. The United States will deliver "as much help as soon as we can, as long as we're needed,'' said Navy Capt. Roger Welch, chief of U.S. Pacific Command's Joint Interagency Coordination Group in Hawaii.
In Singapore, personnel scrambled to complete preparations for the departure of RSN Endurance, a 141 meter landing ship tank that's carrying heavy-lifting equipment, food and medical supplies. Meanwhile in Australia, HMAS Kanimbla will leave Sydney Harbor late Friday transporting two helicopters, about 300 defense personnel and construction equipment. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said Friday that naval ship KD Mahawangsa was scheduled to leave for Aceh on Saturday.
India - which has already deployed 32 ships along the coasts of southern India, the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Sri Lanka, the Maldives - was Friday sending two additional ships to Indonesia, Indian navy spokesman said Cmdr B.K. Garg said.



Posted in Earthquake @ 31 December 2004 00:04 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

indahnesia.com lists all earthquakes that occur in Indonesia. For your convenience we display them in a list and a Google Map. It is as accurate and recent as you can imagine as we check for updates every few minutes. If an earthquake occurs in Indonesia, this is the place to check it out in the first place.






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