Saturday, October 3, 2009

60 Australians feared missing in Padang

The Australian government is checking hospitals in Sumatra to find its citizens as about 60 Australians thought to be in the vicinity of the Padang earthquake spot were not accounted for, an official said on Friday.

"Prime minister *Kevin Rudd* said no reports of Australians killed or injured but Australian officials are checking hospitals to find any Australians caught up in the earthquake," the Australian Embassy's public affairs manager Sanchi Davis said through a short text message received on Friday evening.

A 36-person search and rescue team and around 20 medical staff and engineers left Australia for Padang on Friday to help its six-person emergency team already in the province for aid missions.

Earlier on Friday, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith told the ABC that its government was trying to track down around 100 Australians who were thought to be in the area hit by the earthquake.

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