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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 April, 2005, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Quake-trapped man rescued in Nias
Ethnic Chinese mourners in Gunung Sitoli
Nias bore the brunt of Monday night's earthquake
An Indonesian man has been pulled from rubble on the island of Nias nearly five days after a massive earthquake struck the area.

Rescuers mounted the operation in the main town of Gunung Sitoli after hearing the 42-year-old man, identified as Hendra, calling for help.

Some 1,300 people are thought to have been killed in the 8.7 magnitude quake.

The rescue came as an Australian navy helicopter crashed on the island. It is not yet known if there are any casualties.

Australian officials said the aircraft had come down near Gunung Sitoli while conducting a tour of Nias on Saturday.

Rescue teams have still to reach remote parts of the island west of Sumatra.

Found alive

An Indonesian army marine officer told the Associated Press news the survivor was saying "'Help, help, give me water".

Rescue teams from Singapore and Mexico worked for about seven hours to pull him out.

Hope of finding other survivors in Gunung Sitoli is dwindling with officials saying there is little chance of anyone else being alive after the critical period of four days.

Continuing aftershocks have been adding to the misery of the local population.

"A lot of people are not sleeping well - they are fearful of another earthquake or tsunami," said Brad Quist, 45, a US doctor among the aid workers.

The situation in outlying parts of Nias is still unclear as relief workers have been held back by landslides and damage to roads.

However, one international aid agency, Oxfam, said on Saturday that aid workers were on the move at last.

"People are moving out of town for the first time in a serious way today," Oxfam official Alex Renton told Reuters news agency by telephone from Gunung Sitoli.

"Outside town, things are still very unclear," he said, adding that he believed only about 10% of the 5,600 sq km (2,100 sq mile) island had been assessed by aid agencies.

Reuters reporters who rode on Friday on motorbikes from Gunung Sitoli to the town of Teluk Dalam, 120km (75 miles) to the south, reported widespread damage to houses and little sign of humanitarian aid.

The Indonesian government has said there is no food shortage but problems with distribution, and has promised to send more helicopters and ships from the mainland.

Gunung Sitoli has been without electricity, and the water purification system has been down.





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