Hundreds of Lembata quake evacuees fear returning home

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - Some 711 evacuees, affected by a destructive earthquake in Lembata District, East Nusa Tenggara Province, early this month, are still living in refugee camps, as they fear returning back to their homes.

"Until this day, they are still being offered shelter at the refugee camps, provided by the local government, since they are afraid to go home," Lembata Vice District Head Thomas Ola Langoday remarked on Tuesday.

He noted that hundreds of quake-affected evacuees being offered shelter at refugee camps are from the earthquake-hit villages of Lamawara, Lamagute, and Waimatan.

According to Langoday, they are still waiting for the right time to return to their respective homes before being relocated to other safer areas.

The Lembata District government needs Rp300 billion to relocate one thousand residents of the villages, affected by the destructive earthquake, to a safer location.

"The local government plans to relocate the people of the villages on mountain slopes that are vulnerable to natural disasters to a safer area," Lembata Regional Secretary Karel Burin remarked recently.

Burin said the Rp300 billion budget, required by the Lembata district government, will be channeled for the construction of housing and infrastructure in the new residential areas.

According to Burin, the local government is seeking assistance of the central government, so that the people affected by the Lembata earthquake disaster can settle in a safe location having adequate facilities.

Source: ANTARA News

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