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Friday, May 15, 1998 Published at 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK




Foreign exodus under way
image: [ Expatriates wait at the airpot to leave the country ]
Expatriates wait at the airpot to leave the country

The United States is recommending its citizens should leave Indonesia's capital Jakarta in the wake of riots that have left the city in flames and President Suharto's government on the point of collapse.

Several countries other countries have taken steps to evacuate their nationals, and many multi-national companies working in Indonesia have said they will withdraw their staff.

The commercial flights out of the capital city, Jakarta, are already full, while the international airport and nearby hotels are crowded with foreigners and wealthy Indonesians trying to leave the country.

Evacuation plans

A US Embassy spokesman, Craig Stromme, said the US government would charter two planes for Americans unable to get seats on commercial airlines, and fly them to neighbouring Singapore or Bangkok. There are about 8,000 American citizens in Indonesia, mainly in Jakarta.


[ image: Many ethnic Chinese have fled to Singapore]
Many ethnic Chinese have fled to Singapore
The Japanese cabinet has held an emergency meeting to discuss the possible evacuation of the estimated 20,000 Japanese citizens in Indonesia.

Japanese Air Force planes have been put on stand-by and commercial airlines have been asked if they can send planes in an emergency.

The Finnish airline, Finnair, also said it had sent an aircraft to Jakarta to pick up Finns and other Nordic citizens fleeing the city.

Other embassies have set up 24-hour emergency hotlines. The British and Singaporean embassies instructed their citizens to remain indoors, and the Canadians advised people to fill up their cars with fuel and stock up on non-perishable food, candles and torches.

Foreign companies such as Conoco, GEC Alsthom, and L'Oreal have also begun evacuating employees from Jakarta.

One British manager of clothes manufacturer Bearwear said her factories had closed down and she was considering going to the airport 12 hours before her flight to ensure she could leave the country.








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In this section

Exodus from Indonesia

US urges reform in Indonesia

Riots too hot for business

Chinese flee Jakarta

Death toll reaches 200

Suharto - what next?

Chronology of people's revolt