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Australia sends search teams to Sumatra -

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SHANE MCLEOD: Australia's military and aid agencies are swinging into action in response to the
twin disasters in Asia and the Pacific.

At the same time nearly all of the Australians injured in the Pacific tsunami have been airlifted
home from Samoa.

But it's feared dozens of Australians are unaccounted for in the quake zone in Indonesia.

Emily Bourke has this report.

EMILY BOURKE: The Australian Defence Force has been flying in aid to Samoa but overnight it
evacuated Australians battered and bruised by Wednesday morning's tsunami.

The group of five injured Australians included Tasmanian horse trainer John Blacker, whose wife
Maree was killed. They were stretchered on to the Royal Australian Air Force* (See editor's note)
Hercules and arrived at Queensland's Amberley Airbase in the early hours of this morning.

Amberley squadron leader Kevin Kovic.

KEVIN KOVIC: The Air Force has been extremely pleased to be part of this humanitarian operation on
behalf of the Australian Government.

EMILY BOURKE: There are other injured Australians still to come home, among them Victorian woman
Claire Rowland. She's expected to be medivaced to Australia this afternoon.

Her daughter Jane spoke to ABC local radio in Melbourne.

JANE ROWLAND: She's just shocked. She's really traumatised obviously.

We know that she's had severe bruises, cuts and lacerations. And they were very worried that her
injuries would become septic and that the plane flight would exacerbate it. So whilst they wanted
her at home in a home hospital it was just too risky to fly her. But we have heard that she'll be
able to fly back today which is incredibly relieving for us.

EMILY BOURKE: Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston says the ADF is working with French, New Zealand and
American defence forces to deliver aid to the Samoan islands and further afield to Tonga.

ANGUS HOUSTON: What we're doing is carrying AusAid humanitarian assistance supplies. We carried in
a medical team.

We had two C130s in New Zealand, they were on another task and we diverted them to the mission. One
of those C130s carried an Iroquois helicopter into Samoa. The other one carried humanitarian
assistance supplies and people who could provide medical and relief support.

EMILY BOURKE: Today the ADF will also fly into Indonesia tents, tarps, mosquito nets, water
purification tablets, as well as 10 defence engineers and a 44-person search and rescue team.

ANGUS HOUSTON: Later today we've got a C17 going out of Brisbane and that is carrying two vital
capabilities - an urban rescue capability. We're also providing a military health team of about 50
people and that will have a surgical capability. It will also have a primary health care capability
and also a preventative health capability.

EMILY BOURKE: Those teams are expected to arrive in Jakarta later today but they're unlikely to
reach the coastal communities in and around Padang until tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the safety of 152 Australians
in Sumatra.

But the Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says it's not clear just how many Australians could
have been in the area when the earthquake hit.

STEPHEN SMITH: Now I don't want to be alarmist. Our experience in the past is that very many of
these people are either elsewhere or are not in harm's way, they just haven't made contact with
friends or family. But we're working very hard now to try and track these people down.

EMILY BOURKE: Elsewhere in Asia governments and communities are grappling with the devastating
impact of typhoon Ketsana.

Chris Roche from Oxfam Australia says aid agencies are stretched.

CHRIS ROCHE: In the Philippines we've done assessments in two provinces and in Manila. We're
distributing today basic hygiene items, clothes, along with shelter items - tarpaulins and blankets
- and some emergency cash grants.

And what we're urgently needing there is tanks for trucking water supplies to people.

Vietnam, the situation is there that the government system of evacuation worked really well in
terms of the number of loss of life is low. But the typhoon has destroyed houses, transport and
irrigation systems as they have in Cambodia and Laos.

And the challenge is there that we're moving into the rice harvest season and it's likely that that
may be very severely disrupted which will cause a longer term problem.

SHANE MCLEOD: Chris Roche from Oxfam Australia. Emily Bourke with that report.

* Editor's note: This transcript was amended to add "Australian" to the title "Royal Air Force", so
as to not be confused with the British Royal Air Force.