Posted by: mel | October 7, 2009

China to provide aid to earthquake victims in Sumatra

The Gov Monitor | Source: Government of China | 7 October 2009

China will do its best to help Indonesia with quake reconstruction following the 7.6-magnitude tremor that hit Padang city in western Sumatra on September 30, the Chinese embassy in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta said yesterday.

The country is already one of the earliest to be involved in international relief efforts after the quake, said embassy spokesman Hua Ning.

On October 2, the Chinese government provided US$500,000 in cash to Indonesian authorities for humanitarian emergency assistance, with the Chinese Red Cross providing US$50,000 in cash.

“The Indonesian government is grateful for the timely assistance from China, and in the gradual arrangements for the use of funds,” Hua said.

Currently, Chinese citizens, including those working in Chinese-funded enterprises, Chinese students and tourists in the disaster area of Badong are safe, he said.

“Only a small number of Chinese-funded enterprises are in Padang, with the vast majority of Chinese citizens in Jakarta,” Hua said.

He also said a number of Chinese Indonesians were killed in the disaster, but there were no exact figures available.

Indonesia’s official toll from the quake has been reported as 625 dead and 295 missing, but the health minister has said the number of those affected could hit 3,000.

Liu Zihua, a 68-year-old Chinese Indonesian who owns a small company producing pesticide, saw his two-story office building collapse in the quake and said his business is not likely to resume soon.

Liu, who has lived in the quake-prone area for three decades, told China Daily yesterday “a shocking number of houses” were destroyed in the Chinatown area.

“About 60 people were killed,” Liu said.

Priyadi Kardono, a spokesperson for the country’s National Disaster Management Agency, also refuted rumors that Chinese-Indonesian quake victims were being discriminated against in emergency aid, the English-language Jakarta Globe reported.

Everyone “needs the same help and we will help them all”, the newspaper quoted Kardono as saying.

“The government is dealing with a huge disaster I don’t think it is discrimination,” Liu said.

“A number of organizations founded by the local Chinese Indonesians have also played an important role in relief efforts and provided a lot of help,” Liu said.

“Some trucks provided by them have been giving out water and local religious groups are also offering food to survivors.”

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