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Indonesia quake teams using tsunami experience, says UN chief

Residents salvage valuable things from their collapsed shops at market in Bantul, Yogyakarta province, Central Java, 28 May 2006, a day after an earthquake shattered the area. Rescue workers dug desperately through rubble for survivors Sunday as weeping relatives buried their dead after a powerful quake in central Indonesia killed at least 4,285 people. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 28, 2006
International rescue teams helping victims of the Indonesia earthquake, which has killed over 4,600 people, gained valuable experience in the operation after the 2004 tsunami disaster, UN aid coordinator Jan Egeland said Sunday.

The UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator also told CNN television aid workers deployed in the region feared a possible volcano erruption.

"We had people there who started work because they were there to prepare for the possible volcano outbreak," Egeland said, emphasizing that the relief operation would use the structures set up after the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

"I have already teams coming in from the area where we have lots of people working on tsunami relief and the follow-up of the earthquake at Nias last spring," Egeland said.

Thousands of Indonesian troops and emergency rescue teams joined volunteers who clawed at debris with their bare hands at the scene of Saturday's quake in Central Java, but power blackouts and heavy rain hampered efforts.

Egeland said aid teams were focusing on providing water and sanitation, health care, food, and emergency shelter.

Related Links

Earthquake in ocean near Tonga
Washington (AFP) May 28, 2006
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 shook the ocean floor early Sunday near the Pacific islands of Tonga, smaller than initially estimated, the US government said.

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