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Aid Agencies Struggle to Get Relief to Indonesian Earthquake Survivors


International aid workers in central Indonesia are intensifying efforts to provide care to earthquake survivors, as concerns grow about basic needs and outbreaks of disease.

Hospitals remain overwhelmed a week after the earthquake struck Java island. Many survivors are still in need of medical care, food and water.

Possible outbreaks of disease, including bird flu, are now also cause for concern. A British medical aid agency warned Saturday that some of the 200,000 people made homeless by the earthquake are finding shelter in poultry sheds, risking possible bird flu infection.

World Health Organization (WHO) officials have said they are worried about a possible outbreak of tetanus.

Meanwhile, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says damaged roads and disrupted communications are hindering aid efforts.

More than 6,000 people were killed by last Saturday's earthquake.

The United Nations says its relief operations could take six months. The U.N. says it needs $103 million to provide emergency shelter, medical assistance, food, clean water and sanitation for survivors.

The Asia Development Bank says it has offered Indonesia $10 million in immediate grant assistance and $50 million in loans.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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