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Red Cross Appeal For Indonesian Quake Victims

TELEPHONE 64-4-472 3750
FACSIMILE 64-4-473-0315
7 June 2000
TO: News Editor
Number of pages including cover sheet: 1


The International Red Cross today launched a preliminary appeal for NZ$6.6m to assist the victims of the powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia on Sunday.

According to recent reports, the quake has left 103 people dead and 500 injured. It is estimated thousands of people have been left homeless.

The funds will be used to provide 140,000 people with blankets, shelter, household items as well as medical supplies.

The earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale hit the province of Bengkulu on Sumatra on Sunday, and was followed by 54 aftershocks measuring between 3 and 4 on the Richter scale.

New Zealand Red Cross spokesman, Tony Blackett, said the Indonesian Red Cross is providing first aid to victims as well as making blood supplies available. It is also assisting local authorities in a more thorough damage and needs assessment.

"Buildings in Bengkulu town have been damaged or collapsed and the local airport is closed," he said. "Information from the rest of the province and from the island of Enggano, close to the epicenter, is scarce because telephone lines are down."

"The public hospital in Bengkulu town has been damaged, three other hospitals are operating on generators and thus have a limited capacity. Clean drinking water is a problem and supplies of blood and anaesthetics are running low."

A team from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has also been dispatched to Bengkulu to assess emergency needs. As soon as more detailed information becomes available, the appeal may be revised.

New Zealanders can call 0900-33 200 to make an automatic $20 donation to the earthquake victims, or they can post a donation to Freepost Red Cross, PO Box 12-140, Wellington.

For further information please contact:

Tony Blackett, New Zealand Red Cross, Tel:04-4723750 or 025-2301982
Jessica Barry, International Federation, Indonesia, Tel (41 79) 217 33 76
Ira Hajdamacha, International Federation, Geneva, Tel + 41 22 730 42 96

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