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World News

Indonesia earthquake response focused on water, shelter and food, says Cafod

The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) also told Premier needs-assessments will offer a clearer picture in the coming days regarding the scale destruction, however, it already expects relief efforts to take some months.

Giovanna Reda, Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Asia at the charity, said: "CAFOD is asking people to keep the people of Indonesia in their thoughts and in their prayers because it is very important in this moment that we understand the needs on the ground but, at the same time, local partners and members of the Caritas network are able to act quickly to respond to the needs in case government cannot."

The undersea tremor sparked a frantic rescue operation after dozens of buildings in the province of Aceh were left either destroyed or damaged.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency in Indonesia reported 273 people were injured while, the Red Cross Indonesia has is sending in emergency response teams and has appealed for donations.

The earthquake, recorded at 5am on Wednesday as a 6.5 magnitude earthquake by the US Geological Survey, struck approximately 12 miles south-east of the town of Sigli, in northern Aceh.

Musman Aziz, a resident from the severely affected town of Meureudu in Pidie Jaya district, said: "It was very bad, the tremors felt even stronger than 2004 earthquake."

Due to its proximity to volcanoes and fault lines which compromise the Pacific "Ring of Fire", Indonesia is prone to earthquakes.

A quake and subsequent tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 killed a total of 230,000 people across a dozen countries, more than 100,000 of whom died in Aceh.

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