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Australian assistance for PNG tidal wave disaster



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M E D IA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ALEXANDER DOWNER

AA60 18 July

AUSTRALIAN ASSISTANCE FOR PNG TIDAL WAVT DISASTER

Australia w ill respond quickly to provide assistance for victims o f the tidal wave disaster that struck Papua New Guinea last night.

A ten metre high tidal wave struck on a wide front at Sissano lagoon west o f Aitape in Sandaun (West Sepik) province.

Preliminary reports put the death toll at several hundred with up to 6000 people homeless.

Australia w ill immediately provide transport for relief supplies and a mobile hospital.

A R A A F C l 30 Hercules currently in PNG on training exercises w ill be diverted to deliver re lie f supplies such as tarpaulins and food to the affected areas.

We w ill also transport a mobile hospital and associated Australian Defence Force (AD F) medical personnel to the disaster area to provide urgent medical assistance to injured victims.

The Australian Government stands ready to consider further requests from the PNG Government for assistance. Australian aid officials w ill remain in close contact w ith the PNG Government as needs are further assessed.

Media Contacts: Innes Willox (M inister 's office) 02 62777500 o r 0419 206890 M att Francis (AusAlD) 02 62061967 or 0417 683126

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