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Indonesian authorities continue work round the clock to assist those at risk from the September 30th, magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck the western coast of Sumatra. Serious damage was inflicted on the West Sumatra provincial capital, Padang, and the city of Pariman.
More than 700 people were reportedly killed and thousands of others were trapped by the quake. Local relief organizations and authorities estimate 180,000 homes and 20,000 buildings were damaged.
"We're deeply moved by the suffering and loss of life that's been caused by the recent earthquake in West Sumatra," said President Barack Obama. "My administration has been in touch with the Government of Indonesia to make it clear that the United States stands ready to help in this time of need, and I've ordered my administration to coordinate with the ongoing relief and recovery efforts there."
The U.S. Government has provided $300,000 to Indonesia to support emergency response interventions in West Sumatra Province. The initial funding will be used for the most immediate and pressing needs, especially to support emergency distribution of non-food items. Another $3 million has been set aside to provide further new assistance once the need for additional aid is determined.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense has authorized $7 million for disaster relief operations in Indonesia. At the same time, the U.S. government deployed a Disaster Response Team to work alongside Indonesian authorities. This assistance will supplement the Indonesian government's on-going efforts and is in response to President Susuilo Bambang Yuhoyono's announcement that Indonesia will accept assistance from friendly nations to deal with the catastrophe.
"Indonesia is an extraordinary country that has known extraordinary hardship from natural disasters," said President Obama. "I know firsthand that the Indonesian people are strong and resilient and have the spirit to overcome this enormous challenge. And as they do, they need to know that America will be their friend and partner."