Caritas watchful over Indonesian earthquakes

Caritas Australia has assessors in earthquake-hit Indonesia, determining what response may be required.

But early reports from its partners in Sumatra suggest yesterday's earthquake has not had the impact initially feared.

The 8.4-magnitude quake off Sumatra badly damaged buildings along the coast. It could be felt in at least four countries, with tall buildings swaying almost as far as 2000 kilometres away.

The Director of the Indonesian national Caritas agency Karina reported yesterday that at least 10 people have been killed. Fr Sigit Pramudji said there were dozens injured, and a small tsunami triggered that hit one city on the island of Sumatra.

Caritas Australia director Jack de Groot said: "Fortunately the reports Caritas is getting are not anything like the Boxing Day tsunami."

"After an earthquake of this magnitude there are always aftershocks of which we have seen a number so far," he said. "Caritas Australia and our partners in the region are taking a watchful approach to the situation."

He said the Caritas network has deployed an assessor to the region to gather information and gauge whether a response from the Caritas network is required.

Indonesian government agencies including police, the military and emergency services are active in the recovery efforts and no request for international assistance is required.

Caritas Australia watchful after Sumatran earthquake (Caritas Australia, Media Release, 12/9/07)

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Caritas Australia responds to Indonesia Earthquake (CathNews, 29/5/06)

14 Sep 2007