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Desperate quake victims await aid JAKARTA - Heavy rain and damaged roads were hindering efforts to help survivors of a major earthquake in Indonesia, as officials put the death toll at more than 5,100 dead, 6,500 seriously injured and thousands more left homeless. While aid has been trickling in, overwhelmed hospitals were struggling to treat huge numbers of patients with limited medical supplies.

The country's president, who declared a three-month state of emergency for the quake zone on the densely-populated island of Java, has acknowledged a "lack of coordination" in efforts to help those near the epicenter of Saturday's pre-dawn quake. Visiting refugees on Monday, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for government officials to be "more agile" in their response to the disaster, The Associated Press said.

The 6.3-magnitude quake, which struck close to the former Javanese royal capital of Yogyakarta, has so far killed 5,136 people, wounded nearly 6,504 and left 100,000 homeless, according to the country's Social Affairs Ministry. Heavy rain added to the misery Monday as grieving survivors scavenged for food in the debris of their houses. Rescuers are being hampered by rain, power outages and the closure of a local airport.

"I saw in many areas that there are many things that need to be speeded up," the president said, after declaring a state of emergency to quicken relief efforts. Slammed by some critics as being too slow to act in past disasters, Yudhoyono spent the first night after the quake sleeping in a tent along with survivors and moved his office to Yogyakarta to keep an eye on relief efforts, AP reported.

By Monday, the first aid plane chartered by the U.N. children's agency had arrived in the city of Solo, about three hours from the hardest-hit district of Bantul on Java island, AP said. "Electricity is now back up and communications are also up so we're making progress and bringing supplies to the location," Yudhoyono's spokesman Andi Mallarangeng told CNN. "But we need more medical supplies."

The international community has already pledged millions of dollars in response to the disaster, the latest in a series to blight Indonesia. CNN's Dan Rivers, in Yogyakarta said little of this had reached those in need, but progress was being made in helping those afflicted. "A lot of the bodies have now been recovered, a lot of the injured have gone to the main centers and people are beginning to look at getting food and supplies in," he said.

Meanwhile, activity at the nearby Mount Merapi volcano has tripled since Saturday's quake, experts told AP, and a large eruption is still possible. Emergency aid only began arriving in two hard-hit districts of central Java on Monday, two days after the large quake flattened communities in this heavily populated Indonesian region. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the injured --- 2,192 of the 4,000 hurt are seriously wounded --- and medical workers fear tens of thousands of injured may not be receiving adequate treatment.

"Patients are still in the streets," said Malcolm Johnston, a representative of the International Federation of the Red Cross in Bantul. "Anywhere you can hang a drip, they're hanging a drip." Many people have been reluctant to enter hospitals because they fear structural damage from aftershocks. Since the quake struck before dawn on Saturday, there have been 450 aftershocks.


Link to related event Related event:
Java shaken by quake

Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake') Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake'):
29 May 2006 · Expert: Indonesia quake may trigger Merapi eruption
29 May 2006 · Supplies arrive in Javanese quake zone
29 May 2006 · Govt fights to stop disease as quake toll rises to 4,983
28 May 2006 · Govt declares state of emergency after quake
28 May 2006 · 'Yogya airport reopens for commercial flights on Tuesday'


Posted in Earthquake @ 29 May 2006 19:05 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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