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Friday, January 14, 2005

Indonesia Sets Deadline for Forces on Tsunami Duty (Update3)

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has given international troops until March 26 to leave Aceh province, where they are helping provide relief after last month's earthquake and tsunami, a military spokesman said.

Australia and the U.S. are among the nations helping to ferry supplies to survivors in the province in northern Sumatra. Kalla said overseas forces should hand over the operation to Indonesia three months after the Dec. 26 disaster, the spokesman, Ahmad Yani Basuki, said in a telephone interview today in Jakarta.

Aceh province was nearest the epicenter of the magnitude-9 earthquake that caused the tsunami to strike coastlines in South Asia and East Africa. More than 170,000 people were killed or are missing. Indonesia has the highest toll, with 106,523 deaths recorded by the Social Ministry.

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Indonesia cracks down on tsunami relief effort

Banda Aceh — Relief organizations said a new demand made by Indonesia on Thursday that foreign aid workers have army escorts in tsunami-stricken Aceh province will hamper aid delivery and blur the lines between the military and humanitarian efforts.

Rich creditor nations, meanwhile, offered a moratorium on payments on billions of dollars owed by tsunami-hit nations. Only Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Seychelles said they planned to accept the Paris Club's proposal, while Thailand expressed concern that doing so would hurt its credit rating.

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Malaria threat emerges as rains deluge tsunami stricken region in Indonesia

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) -- Health officials plan to go door to door and tent to tent with mosquito-killing spray guns beginning Friday to head off a looming threat that one expert says could kill 100,000 more people around the tsunami disaster zone: malaria.

The devastation and heavy rains are creating conditions for the largest area of mosquito breeding sites Indonesia has ever seen, said the head of the aid group anchoring the anti-malaria campaign on Sumatra island. The pools of salt water created by the Dec. 26 tsunami have been diluted by seasonal rains into a brackish water that mosquitos love.

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Clark shocked by tsunami devastation in Sri Lanka

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said she was shocked at the devastation the tsunami had caused in Sri Lanka.

Clark in a letter to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga states:

"It is with great sadness that I have learned of the loss of life that your people along Sri Lanka's southern coasts have suffered as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that originated off Sumatra.

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U.S. corporate tsunami aid tops $500M

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- U.S. companies have given more than half a billion dollars to help Asia recover from the tsunami that struck in late December, according to a survey released Thursday.

The Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, which represents more than 100 executives of large U.S. firms, including Citigroup and Merck, said a poll of its members showed more than $500 million in cash, in-kind and employee matching gifts have been donated so far.

That figure could rise further in the coming months because companies may increase donations as they get more information on what specific help is needed and where it should be directed, the CECP added in a statement.

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