CHINA / National

Indonesia toll nears 6,000; China offers aid worth $1.25m
Updated: 2006-05-30 21:04

International relief efforts picked up on Tuesday for survivors of the earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people on Indonesia's Java island, but many victims complained that vital aid was not reaching them.

Amran, a three year-old earthquake victim from Bantul, is comforted by his mother at a hospital in Yogyakarta, Central Java, May 30, 2006. [Reuters]

Planes carrying supplies and foreign experts, including Japanese paramedics and a small contingent of U.S. Marines, reached the stricken region to supplement government aid and workers.

The paramedics and Marines landed at the airport at the ancient royal capital of Yogyakarta, the main city in the affected area, which re-opened to commercial traffic despite a heavily damaged terminal.

U.N. officials say more than 22 countries have responded to Indonesia's call for help with aid or pledges of assistance, and more countries announced contributions in cash, goods or personnel throughout the day.

But help was still a long way off for some.

In the hard-hit rural area on the way to Bantul town, Jumadi and his two barefoot teenage boys begged motorists for money.

"Our village has many victims, houses are all destroyed and we have not received aid from the government. This is (all) we can do. What else can we do?" he said.

The quake's official death toll had reached 5,428 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the government's Social Affairs Department, and it had left more than 130,000 homeless by one estimate, many without shelter and short of food.
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