Indonesia to send aid to cyclone victims in Myanmar

May 7th, 2008 - 12:26 pm ICT by admin  

Jakarta, May 7 (DPA) Indonesia has decided to provide relief aid worth $1 million to Myanmar to help victims of a cyclone that swept through the country, killing more than 22,500 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and destitute, local media reports said Wednesday. “The tragedy reminded President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the December 2004 deadly tsunami in Aceh,” presidential spokesman Di Patti Djalal said.

Djalal was referring to the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 14 Indian Ocean countries, claiming 177,000 people in Indonesia’s Aceh province, which lies on the northern tip of Sumatra.

“That’s why the president decided to provide $1 million in aid to Myanmar,” Djalal was quoted as saying by the state-run Antara news agency, adding that the relief aid would soon be sent to Myanmar using two Hercules aircraft belonging to the Indonesian military.

Djalal said Tuesday morning President Yudhoyono contacted Kyi Maung Oo, a diplomat at Myanmar’s Embassy in Jakarta, to ask what the Myanmarese government and people needed.

But Maung Oo was quoted as saying by Djalal that he was still having difficulty contacting government officials in Yangon as communication networks were damaged.

The devastating Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar over the weekend and the government there said more than 22,500 people have been killed and more than 41,000 people were missing. The government said more than 100,000 people needed urgent humanitarian assistance.

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