Indonesian government to build 74 thousand quake-proof houses

Indonesian government to build 74 thousand quake-proof houses

Illustration. An earthquake-resistant research house in the village of Ulee Lheue, Banda Aceh, which was made of building materials mixed with lightweight materials, easy to install, with concrete panels designed by experts at Syiah Kuala University. (ANTARA PHOTO/Ampelsa)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will send 400 engineers to accompany people in Lombok to build some 74 thousand earthquake-proof houses to replace those destroyed in the recent earthquake on the eastern island, President Joko Widodo stated.

"It is time now for West Nusa Tenggara to rise. Rehabilitation of houses will start on Sept 1. The government will deploy 400 young civil servant engineers to accompany the people build around 74 thousand houses to replace theirs that have been destroyed on the island of Lombok," he tweeted at around 9 a.m. local time here on Wednesday.

In a press release, the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing noted that the rehabilitation and construction of houses had been accelerated in line with the president`s instruction.

The rehabilitation and construction of houses are expected to be completed in the next six months, it said, adding that the engineers will be dispatched on Thursday aboard Hercules military aircraft.

President Widodo has decided to offer Rp50 million to each of the owners of the houses destroyed by the earthquake.

People will build their houses with assistance from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the military.

Over the past four weeks, the Indonesian resort island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara Province has been under the spotlight for a string of strong earthquakes that hit it since July 29.

As a result of the strong earthquakes, including the 7.0-magnitude quake that shook Lombok Island on Aug 5, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, as of Aug 23, at least 555 people were killed, and 829 others were injured.

Most fatalities were the residents of North Lombok District areas due to their proximity to the strong earthquake`s epicenter. The repeated earthquakes have also damaged 23,098 houses and led to the forced displacement of 134,236 people.

Reporting by Agus Salim
Editing by Yoseph Hariyadi, Bustanudin