U.N. Announces $38 Million in Earthquake Relief Plan for Sumatra

GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 11 (UPI) — A group of humanitarian agencies plan $38 million in emergency aid to the victims of the recent earthquake on Sumatra in Indonesia, U.N. officials say.

The plan announced Thursday targets the areas where the quake did the most damage, including Padang City and Pariaman City, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. The International Organization for Migration, 11 U.N. agencies and 18 non-governmental groups have requested funding for 74 projects in the area.

The Padang earthquake, which hit the island of Sumatra on Sept. 30, measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, making it a major quake. As of Friday, Indonesian authorities said 739 deaths had been confirmed, 296 people were missing and 2,219 had been injured.

The quake reportedly damaged 234,395 houses, and officials were still trying to assess the toll in remote areas reachable only by helicopter.

An earthquake Sept. 2 hit the island of Java, although it did less damage.

The U.N. Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said in Padang 40 percent of the children were back in school.

“Many children had expressed their fears for the future — of more earthquakes, more building collapses, the inability to rebuild their lives,” Veronique Taveau, a UNICEF spokeswoman, said at a news conference in Geneva.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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