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Brussels, 1 October 2009

Earthquake in Indonesia: European Commission releases €3 million to address immediate humanitarian needs

After the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck close to the city of Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province in Indonesia, another powerful earthquake hit Sumatra early this morning. The death toll, which is expected to rise significantly in the coming hours, has already reached 529. The European Commission is providing €3 million to meet initial humanitarian needs.

The European Commission is providing €3 million in a fast-track decision to bring relief to earthquake victims in Indonesia. A rapid response team from the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) office of Djakarta has been sent to Padang to assess needs.

Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: "I am deeply concerned by the news coming out of Sumatra. The search for survivors buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings is ongoing and we fear there may be many more victims. In the meantime, the survivors lack everything, from shelter to fresh water. Our funding will allow us to provide relief quickly to the thousands who are in dire need of assistance.”

He added: “After the typhoon in the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia and the tsunami in Samoa, European Union solidarity is being manifested on all fronts in the Asia-Pacific region. We are ready to bring further assistance if this is required.”

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