29 Nov 2004

Red Cross says there's an urgent need for supplies after Papua earthquake

8:35 pm on 29 November 2004

An official of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Indonesia's Papua province reports there is an urgent need for medical supplies in Nabire, following an earthquake on Friday.

At least 19 have been killed, and 160 injured by the tremor which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale,

Ole Hauge says a relief team is using a helicopter to assess damage to remote villages.

He says electricity and water supplies have been cut, and relief teams are calling for more emergency supplies.

"Nabire is a very remote area. The distance is far away. The first assessment was that the most needed now was blood, medicine and tarpaulins. And they had some local medicine available in Nabire...blood probably needs to be brought in from other places."

Ole Hauge says houses and buildings in Nabire were damaged but that it has not caused the devastation of an earthquake there in February, which wrecked 2,000 buildings and claimed at least 39 lives.

He says there are continuing aftershocks, and people are worried with seismologists predicting another major tremor could hit later this week.