10 Feb 2004

Donations start to be pledged to help those hit by the earthquakes in Indonesia's Papua province

8:21 am on 10 February 2004

Australia has donated nearly 40 thousand US dollars to help in Indonesia's Papua province after a series of powerful earthquakes killed 31 people.

The money will be used by the Red Cross to help victims of the earthquakes by providing emergency relief supplies.

The worst hit area in Papua is the coastal town of Nabire.

A United Nations official in Jakarta, Abdul Haq Amiri, says Nabire Public Hospital has turned into a tent city.

"We were told that the hospital has been damaged but it's actually not damaged very badly. But because the people are afraid to stay inside, the patients are treated in the tents right in the compound of the hospital."

Mr Amiri says power and communications are down and water and sanitation are posing problems.