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Australia ready to support Indonesia, Solomon Islands after earthquakes: PM

Australia ready to support Indonesia, Solomon Islands after earthquakes: PM

Canberra, Nov 22 (UNI) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has declared the government stands ready to provide aid to Indonesia and the Solomon Islands after the nations were hit by earthquakes.

A total of 162 people were killed after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's West Java province on Monday, officials said.

The quake also caused heavy damage to many houses, buildings and infrastructure facilities. The tremors were strongly felt in the national capital Jakarta.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 jolted 18 km southwest of Malango, the Solomon Islands at 02:03:07 GMT on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Addressing the parliament on Tuesday, Albanese said he has reached out to the leaders of both nations to offer Australia's support.

"With more than 2,000 homes damaged, I have conveyed through to my friend President Joko Widodo Australia's condolences at this tragic loss of life and we will stand ready to provide our friends in Indonesia with support as Australia always does," he said.

"We have contacted Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to once again indicate Australia stands ready to assist."

In Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, all staff of the Australian high commission are safe. There are no known injuries but the roof of the high commission annex has collapsed, according to Albanese.

"Staff have been moved to higher ground because there was a tsunami warning that was issued," he said.

The commission is now seeking to confirm the safety of Australians in the country.
UNI/XINHUA PRT

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