VP leads limited meeting on rehabilitation efforts in Bima

Bima, W Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla led a limited meeting to discuss rehabilitation efforts in the Dompu and Bima districts of West Nusa Tenggara Province, which suffered severe flooding recently.

The vice president, Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa, and Head of the National Disaster Management Agency Willem Rampangilei listened to the explanation of Military Resort Command (Danrem) 162/Wira Bhakti commander Infantry Colonel Farid Makruf at City Hall here.

Some 8.8 thousand people, or 55 percent of the population, were affected by the disaster, he remarked.

"There were no reports of fatalities, but thousands of people were injured, and 8.8 thousand people were evacuated to 17 shelters," he stated.

He pointed out that State electricity company PLN had managed to supply 70 percent of electricity requirements in five districts.

"Cellular signals can be received," he noted.

After directing the ranks of the Bima municipal government, the vice president and his entourage visited the Indonesian Militarys humanitarian assistance center in Mpunda Subdistrict, Bima City.

On the occasion, the vice president talked with the patients at the medical facility, visited the emergency room, and inspected the medical equipment and tents.

Earlier, some 700 military personnel were dispatched to flood-hit Bima City to help the locals remove the accumulating garbage.

"We have deployed hundreds of personnel. They are all from Sumbawa Island and the provincial capital, Mataram," Colonel Farid said here on Monday.

He noted the local authorities hoped the city would be clean within a week. So far, they have made available 60 trucks to carry the garbage.

Flash floods hit the city on December 21 and 23, forcing 104,378 people to flee their homes.

Overall, the floods have uprooted 105,758 people in the citys five sub-districts, Chief of the West Nusa Tenggara Provincial Disaster Mitigation Board Mohammad Rum stated over the weekend.

The floods, triggered by the overflowing of two local rivers following heavy rains, prompted the closure of offices and schools in the city.

According to officials, floodwaters injured one person and destroyed public facilities, including four public health service posts, 28 auxiliary public health service posts, and one office.(*)