9 Feb 2004

Nabire in Indonesia's Papua becomes a tent city after quakes

4:02 pm on 9 February 2004

A United Nations official says Nabire Public Hospital in Indonesia's Papua province has turned into a tent city in the wake of two severe earthquakes.

The deputy chief of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jakarta, Abdul Haq Amiri, says that tents have been erected in the hospital grounds because patients are too frightened to be treated inside.

"We were told that the hospital has been damaged but it's actually not damaged very badly. But because the people are afraid to stay inside, the patients are treated in the tents right in the compound of the hospital."

Mr Amiri says power and communications are down and water and sanitation are posing problems.

At least thirty people are now known to have been killed as buildings and homes collapsed and hundreds of others have been injured.