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Indonesian, International Aid Agencies Head to Quake-Devastated Nias


The Indonesian government and international relief organizations are rushing to send aid to the Indonesian island of Nias, where Monday's massive earthquake killed hundreds of people.

The 8.7 magnitude earthquake struck close to the spot where December's 9.0 tremor triggered the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. The new quake destroyed roads and bridges on Nias, just west of Sumatra Island, making it difficult for aid to get in.

The Indonesian government has dispatched doctors, medicine and supplies to Nias. International aid groups working in Sumatra's tsunami-devastated Aceh Province have sent personnel to survey the damage.

Presidential spokesman Andi Mallarengang says hundreds of people on Nias are dead, but concern now centers on how to deliver help to the living. "Even though the airport is open, but from the airport to the city Nusitoli bridges are down, so we might need helicopters," he said.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono canceled a planned visit to Australia this week, and instead will head to Nias in the next few days.

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