06 March, 2007

United Nations on stand-by to assist Indonesia

A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team (UNDAC) has been placed on stand-by following the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit Indonesia’s West Sumatra Province today at 10:49 a.m., local time. According to current information, between 70 and 100 people have been reported killed and 76 injured. A second earthquake occurred in the same vicinity at 12:49 p.m.

As a first response, an inter-agency team out of Jakarta and Aceh comprising staff from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is scheduled to arrive in the area tomorrow.

“The Government of Indonesia and the Indonesian Red Cross Society have impressive capacity in disaster response,” said United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes. “However, experience from past earthquakes in the region in which numbers of deaths and injuries have risen rapidly means we are wary in case the impact of the earthquake is more serious than initial reports suggest,” he added.

Read the full Press Release from ReliefWeb

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