Government urged to increase aid to quake-hit victims

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The House speaker, Bambang Soesatyo, has urged the government, military, and national police to increase the scale of relief operations after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi province.

Soesatyo made the remarks here on Sunday, adding that the leadership of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) was very concerned because the residents of Donggala, Sigi, and Palu, who were affected by the disaster, until Saturday (Sept 29) night, had to sleep on the side of the road and on the open air.

The Golkar Party politician further said, many patients were forced to be treated in open spaces, and residents, who were still traumatized and worried about aftershocks, were afraid to return home.

Most likely, he said, the people in affected areas will continue to be outside the houses for the next few days, so they really need tents and blankets especially at night.

"The relief team should immediately try to provide this need," he pointed out.

According him, many things must be dealt with in the aftermath of the disaster in Central Sulawesi, especially the people who need a lot of help such as to establish a temporary hospital, as well as to provide decent space to accommodate children.

"Another urgent job is a funeral for hundreds of people, who died," he revealed.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said the government is doing its best to mitigate the impact of the earthquake that hit Donggala District and Palu city of Central Sulawesi on Friday.

"This is an emergency situation as many roads were cut off and airport was damaged. Electricity and fuel supplies are also disturbed. Roads are closed," the President said when observing the Blora National Housing Complex in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Sunday.

The area is one of the regions worst affected by the earthquake. The president who talked to the local residents hoped that all heavy and emergency equipment can arrive soon.

Regarding the supply of fuel oil (BBM), the President estimated that in two days to come it will reach the location. Heavy equipment from Mamuju, Gorontalo according to him also has moved towards the disaster site.

"We pray that the heavy equipment will arrive smoothly tonight," said the President in a statement released by Deputy Protocol, Press and Media of the Presidential Secretariat Bey Machmudin.

Food and mineral water assistance was also hampered due to the condition of the airport which was not 100 percent ready to be used for landing by aircraft, the said.

"I hope the people would be patient, I know many problems that must be resolved in the near future, including relating to communication," Jokowi added.

An earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale occurred in Donggala District which caused a tsunami.

The disaster has damaged the flight traffic control tower at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport, Palu City.

Source: ANTARA News

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