Asian Games 2018

Social affairs minister visits quake-hit Sumbawa

Social affairs minister visits quake-hit Sumbawa

Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita talked to the press. (Martha Herlinawati S)

Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita visited Sumbawa district, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), to assess the situation after the area was hit by a series of earthquakes lately.

"Today, I continue the task mandated by President Joko Widodo, to visit our brothers and sisters who have become victims of earthquakes on Sumbawa Island," the new minister said while departing from Lombok International Airport in Lombok District, here, Sunday.

He arrived at the Sultan Mahmud Kaharuddin airport in Sumbawa Besar at 9:40 a.m. local time on Sunday, and headed for Alas sub-district.

"Various problems and inputs that I will observe and collect here, will later be discussed with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta," Kartasasmita, who was installed as the social affairs minister to replaced Idrus Marham on Friday (Aug 24), said.

On the previous day, he visited refugee camps accommodating hundreds of families displaced by the natural disaster, in Gunungsari sub-district, West Lombok District, at around 9 p.m. local time.

He presented kitchenware equipment for public kitchens set up to help provide food for the victims.

Kartasasmita also handed over assistance worth Rp3.5 billion to Ahsanul Khalik, head of the NTB social office.

The assistance comprised 10 thousand packages of basic needs worth Rp2.5 billion, one thousand packages of kitchenware worth Rp1.06 billion, and Rp20 million for families of two volunteers of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), who died while helping quake victims.

Lombok and Sumbawa Islands were rocked at least by three major earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks since late July 2018.

Based on data of the Lombok disaster mitigation office per Aug 23, 2018, the earthquakes claimed some 555 lives and displaced 390,529 people.

In North Lombok, 466 people were killed, 829 injured, and 134,236 displaced. A total of 23,098 homes were destroyed or damaged by the natural disaster.

Reporting by Awaludin
Editing by Fardah, Suharto