Death toll in Indonesian quake rises to 64, UN reports

4 September 2009

The death toll from the massive earthquake which struck Indonesia earlier this week has risen to 64, with dozens of others believed to be missing, the United Nations humanitarian wing reported today.

Wednesday’s tremors reached 7.3 on the Richter scale when they struck the Tasikmalaya district of West Java, uprooting over 25,000 people in seven districts. Over 2,300 people left their homes in Central Java’s Cilacap district, according to information received by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

More than 50,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged by the quake, and people are seeking refuge in makeshift tents near their ruined homes and living with relatives.

Relief is being provided by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and the Indonesian Government, which has put forward $500,000 to respond to the emergency.

OCHA and Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) will chair a meeting tomorrow in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, to finalize the results of a fact-finding mission dispatched yesterday to the areas hardest-hit by the earthquake.

The UN assessment team – consisting of representatives from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), the World Bank and OCHA – visited Tasikmalaya, South Bandung, Garut and Bandung districts yesterday and stopped at the other affected districts of Ciamis and Cianjur today.

The BNPB has reported that local and national authorities have the resources to respond to the crisis, OCHA added.

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