Belgian aid arrives in Java earthquake zone

29th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 May 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgium has increased its emergency aid to Indonesia and additional doctors will be sent to the island of Java following the weekend's devastating earthquake.

29 May 2006

BRUSSELS — Belgium has increased its emergency aid to Indonesia and additional doctors will be sent to the island of Java following the weekend's devastating earthquake.

Overseas Development Minister Armand De Decker has doubled Belgium's emergency aid to EUR 1 million. The money will be donated to the World Food Programme.

The death toll from Saturday morning's quake has risen to about 5,000, while 20,000 were injured. Up to 200,000 people were made homeless by the tremor, which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.

A major relief operation has swung into motion, with teams from across the country and abroad arriving in the disaster zone.

The Belgian unit of Doctors Without Borders will send an extra six workers to Java. They will be deployed in the hardest hit town of Bantul, located to the south of Yogyakarta.

"Bantul is a small city, close to Yogyakarta, that was very hard hit," spokesman Jan Brigou said. "Three people arrived last night [Saturday night] and are making an initial evaluation."

Brigou said the need for medical assistance was high, especially for victims with broken bones.

The Belgian team consists of doctors, nurses and kidney experts, the latter of whom will be required to treat people suffering from "crush syndrome".

Brigou explained that people who are trapped under rubble for a long period of time suffer kidney problems and need swift medical attention.

Meanwhile, the Belgian Foreign Ministry has made contact with all Belgian nationals known to be in the area. It confirmed that no Belgians were among the list of casualties.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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