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International Aid Needed For Indonesian Earthquake

Annan Calls For International Aid In Response To Indonesian Earthquake

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced hope that the international community will give "generous and timely" assistance to the Government and people of Indonesia following today's earthquake in the country's Papua province.

"The United Nations stands ready to lend its support in mobilizing international relief efforts," a statement issued by Mr. Annan's spokesman said.

The Indonesia branch of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is in close contact with national and local authorities and stands ready to help in assessment activities as needed.

Through his spokesman, the Secretary-General said he was "profoundly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and terrible damage" caused by the earthquake, which measured 6.9 on the Richter scale.

According to latest information received by OCHA, 24 people were killed and 67 others injured in the quake, which took out all electricity and telecommunication systems in the area, although radio contacts remain operative.

Some buildings and houses as well as public infrastructure have been damaged or cracked but the scale of the damage is still uncertain.

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