22 Jun 2010

Authorities in Indonesia transport relief supplies to victims of West Papua quake

10:24 am on 22 June 2010

The authorities in Indonesia are transporting tents, food and medical supplies by helicopter to the remote island in West Papua where more than 4,000 people were made homeless by an earthquake last week.

17 people are now known to have died on the island of Yapen in the magnitude 7.1 quake, while a number are still missing, and about 150 seriously injured people are being evacuated by helicopter.

The International Red Cross says 2500 homes were destroyed and many thousands more damaged, leaving more than 4600 people homeless.

Its head of delegation in Indonesia, Bob McKerrow, says he has seen the damage in aerial photographs of the area

"Collapsed houses, people do have shelter because they can make a temporary shelter out of the debris. In the coastal areas people can still go fishing and there's still fruit and vegetables available but as the days pass there's a lack of staple food so that's a priority at the moment."

Bob Mc Kerrow says the response to the earthquke was slow in the first few days, but the Indonesian government now has it under control.