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Chinese Relief Team Ready for Indonesia

A draft of more than 40 Chinese experts are standing by to head for earthquake- and tsunamis- stricken Indonesia for relief work, said Huang Jianfa, an official with the Chinese State Seismological Bureau (CSSB).

"The task force is on all-weather condition, and will set off at the invitation of the Indonesian government." Huang said Sunday night.

A powerful earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale by CSSB shocked many parts of the provinces of North Sumatera and Aceh in Indonesia Sunday morning.

The tremor also triggered tsunamis, which submerged coastal land.

At least 6,300 people have been identified dead in the catastrophe, according to governments of the countries suffering the tsunamis and quake.

CSSB will keep in touch with the Indonesian government through the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

There have been 31 relief drafts from 20 countries available so far.

A evaluation team of six experts from the United Nations will start off Monday to investigate and supply relevant data for relief work, an official with UN said.

South and southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Maldives, India, Malaysia and Bangladesh were also affected.

Sunday's quake was the third to hit Indonesia after Nabire in Papua on Nov. 26 which killed 17 people and Alor in East Nusa Tenggara on Nov. 12, which killed at least 27 people.

(Xinhua News Agency December 27, 2004)

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