Emergency management efforts still ongoing to handle Alor quake after-effects

Emergency management efforts still ongoing to handle Alor quake after-effects

Photo document of Alor Island position. (BMKG)

However, according to temporary estimates, the losses may reach Rp123 billion."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Emergency management efforts to handle the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Alor District, East Nusa Tenggara, are still being undertaken by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

On November 4, 2015, a powerful earthquake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, jolted Alor district, damaging thousands of buildings belonging to the government and local residents.

The convulsion of the earths surface in Alor also damaged several schools, houses of worship, community health centers, office buildings, and some infrastructure, such as bridges, roads, and irrigation facilities.

Chief of East Nusa Tenggaras Public Works and Public Housing Department Andre Koreh remarked in the provincial city of Kupang on Monday that repair work on the buildings damaged by the earthquake in Alor district will commence in 2016.

"Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono has gained firsthand information on the condition in Alor and has made assurance that rehabilitation will begin in 2016," Koreh affirmed.

Alor District Head Amon Djobo remarked that the 6.2-magnitude earthquake caused material losses worth around Rp123 billion.

"We are awaiting the exact number. However, according to temporary estimates, the losses may reach Rp123 billion," he said, adding that the earthquake had damaged thousands of buildings, but no fatalities and injuries were reported.

Based on provisional data, the quake caused damage to 1,468 houses, with 519 of them suffering serious damage, 193 incurring moderate damage, and 756 experiencing minor damage, the district head revealed.

The quake also damaged 20 places of worship and 37 school buildings in addition to several public utilities.

"Based on the result of provisional calculations, the losses caused by the earthquake reached Rp123 billion," he said, adding that the local government will soon finalize the results of data collection to be submitted to the central government through the relevant ministries.

The Alor district head expressed hope that the reconstruction work can begin early next year, and the victims who lost their homes can be rehabilitated by the end of 2016 at the latest.

The Ministry of Social Affairs will work along with the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing and the BNPB to rebuild homes that were severely damaged by the earthquake in Alor.

"We have coordinated to rebuild homes that were severely damaged as soon as possible," Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa remarked during a visit to the quake-hit area in Alor last Friday.

She visited Alor to offer assistance and to obtain firsthand information on the condition of the people who had borne the brunt of the earthquake.

Thereafter, the minister visited the severely affected villages of Padang Panjang, Tanglapui, and Marataing.

Parawansa noted that humanitarian assistance being channeled through the Ministry of Social Affairs until November 12, 2015, had reached Rp333 million in the form of government rice reserves amounting to Rp15.5 million, the provincial governments aid worth Rp125.9 million, and direct assistance of Rp192.3 million from the Ministry of Social Affairs.

She said direct assistance by the Ministry of Social Affairs from Jakarta is still in transit and is expected to arrive in Alor on November 17, 2015.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the head of the data and information center and public relations of the BNPB, noted in a press statement recently that the earthquake had damaged roads, bridges, irrigation networks, housing facilities, school buildings, churches, and other houses of worship as well as government offices.

Sutopo stated that the data collection process was still ongoing, while the roads damaged or covered by landslides were still being restored by involving military personnel.

Sutopo said five sub-districts and 18 villages had been affected by the earthquake, two people from the Maritaing village in Alor Timur sub-district and Subo village in Alor Selatan had sustained severe injuries, while one man in the sub-district of Alor Timur Laut had suffered minor injury.

A total of 735 houses in Alor Timur, 10 in Alor Timur Utara, four in Lembur, 53 in Alor Timur Laut, and 82 in Alor Selatan sub-districts have been damaged.

Most houses in Maritaing village in Alor Timur sub-district had been damaged in addition to several schools, community health care centers, houses of worship, and office buildings totaling 51.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

The Sunda convergent margin extends for 5.6 thousand kilometers from the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, both located northwest of the map area, towards Sumba Island in the southeast, and then continues eastward as the Banda arc system.

This tectonically active margin is a result of the Indian and Australian plates converging with and subducting beneath the Sunda plate at a rate of approximately 50 to 70 millimeters per year.

The main physiographic feature associated with this convergent margin is the Sunda-Java Trench, which stretches for three thousand kilometers parallel to the Java and Sumatra land masses.
(Uu.O001/INE//KR-BSR)

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