28 Jun 2010

Remoteness of West Papuan quake-hit Yapen will delay rebuilding

6:19 am on 28 June 2010

The head of Indonesia's Red Cross delegation says the logistics of getting supplies to the quake-hit island of Yapen in West Papua means rebuilding the thousands of homes destroyed will take some time.

The death toll from a series of strong earthquakes more than a week ago stands at 22, with about 150 people seriously injured.

Bob McKerrow says the quakes have affected about 2,700 families, to whom the Red Cross has been able to deliver sufficient emergency supplies by helicopter.

He says there's plenty of fruit and fish so people have enough to eat but getting long-term supplies to Yapen is problematic.

"When you look at a map you think, 'Oh well, where is it'. You know it takes five to six hours to get from Jakarta to the nearest airport and we've just chartered a boat and the boat's going to take 15 days to get there to take supplies from Jakarta. These are not urgent supplies, these are more long-term supplies. But 15, 16 days for a boat to get from Jakarta so it's really remote and that's a problem."