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. Australia, Indonesia create disaster reduction center

Jakarta.
by Staff Writers
Lima (AFP) Nov 22, 2008
Australia and Indonesia announced Saturday they were establishing a new joint facility in Jakarta that would aim to reduce the impact of disasters in the Asia-Pacific region through analysis and training.

The Disaster Reduction Facility will be operational with a staff of 12-14 in April and will be funded to the tune of 42 million US dollars over five years, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told reporters on the sidelines of an APEC summit here.

"The work of the facility to be built is to ensure that Indonesia and Australia have the necessary capacity that they need to mitigate the effects of any disaster," Yudhoyono said.

Rudd said he expected the facility to become "world-class" and a key part of other disaster initiatives that exist in the region.

He noted that earthquakes, volcano eruptions and storms all posed a threat to countries in the area, parts of which were ravaged by the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people.

Coincidentally, the joint announcement came on the same day a powerful earthquake measuring at least 6.8 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia's island of Sumatra. There were no reports of casualties nor damage.

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Six dead, one missing in Philippine landslide
Monkayo, Philippines (AFP) Nov 21, 2008
Six people were killed and at least one is still missing after a landslide demolished part of a shanty town in the southern Philippines, officials said Friday.

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