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Indonesian earthquake - Australian assistance



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No. Date: MTAI63 14 December 1992 INDONESIAN EARTHQUAKE - AUSTRALIAN ASSISTANCE

The Minister for Trade & Overseas Development, John Kerin, said today that Australia is ready and willing to respond to a request by the Indonesian Government for emergency assistance for victims of the earthquake which struck the Indonesian

island of Flores on Saturday.

"Australia is standing by to send in a planeload of relief supplies worth approximately $150,000, including tents, tarpaulins and water containers," Mr Kerin said.

"I take this opportunity to express my sympathy for the victims and assure the Indonesian Government that Australia is willing to support emergency relief efforts and to contribute to the longer term challenge of rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged region.

"The Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Phillip Flood, has offered $15,000 from the Embassy emergency relief fund, in response to a request from the Governor of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara, Dr Hendrikus Fernandez.

"According to Dr Fernandez, who flew over the area yesterday, the earthquake has affected three districts on the island of Flores, with more than 1,000 people feared dead. Some thirty to forty per cent of buildings in the Flores capital of Maumere appear to have been damaged.

"Australia is also sending the Jakarta based First Secretary for Development Cooperation, Ms Robyn Scott-Charlton, to Kupang this morning to coordinate any requests to Australia for relief.

"She is also expected to undertake a consular role with regard to any Australians who may have been affected."

Australian emergency assistance to Indonesia is administered by AIDAB, Australia's overseas aid agency.

For further information contact:

I Minister's Office; COMMONWEALTH

Simon Grose (06) 277 7420 PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

MICAH

AIDAB Public Affairs; Cathy Walker (06) 276 4960 Wendy Levy (06) 276 4966 or ah (06) 261 3194

For information regarding Australians in the area contact Tony Melville, Department of Foreign Affairs Media spokesman, on (06) 261 3194