News Focus - Indonesian government moves swiftly in handling Gonggala quake victims

News Focus - Indonesian government moves swiftly in handling Gonggala  quake victims

Minister of Social Affairs Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita visited the earthquake affected area in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Saturday (Social Affairs Ministry' Public Relations)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has to act promptly to handle victims probably trapped in the rubble of buildings damaged by the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that rocked Donggala and other surrounding areas of Central Sulawesi on Friday.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will act quickly and lead the humanitarian operations to help people in areas affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Donggala and Palu, Central Sulawesi.

This optimistic stance of Jokowi was conveyed by Secretary of the National Campaign Team (TKN) of presidential and vice-presidential candidates Jokowi and Ma`ruf Amin, Hasto Kristiyanto, here on Saturday.

He made the statement in response to the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that jolted Donggala in Central Sulawesi on Friday at 6:02 p.m. Central Indonesia Standard Time.

According to Kristiyanto, Jokowi-Ma`ruf`s TKN expressed deep condolences over the deaths in the earthquake and tsunami in Donggala and Palu and also expressed concern for the survivors or the people in the affected areas.

The secretary general of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle made assurance that the president`s main focus was the people, so various campaign affairs would be abandoned, and Jokowi would prefer to directly oversee the handling of victims.

"Let us boost solidarity and work together with the president to help the victims of the earthquake disaster in Donggala and Palu," Kristiyanto remarked.

Kristiyanto was taken aback on hearing the news of the earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale in Donggala. Videos circulating online, which illustrate the existence of a tsunami, are a matter of significant concern.

The Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology has taken various steps to restore telecommunications services after the earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale rocked Donggala and Palu City on Friday. .

Head of the Public Relations Bureau of the Ministry of Communication and Information, Ferdinandus Setu noted that his office was monitoring the location after the earthquake and found that the telecommunications network in Donggala and its surroundings could not operate, as the electricity supply from PT PLN was cut off.

Until 6 p.m. West Indonesia Time, the results of monitoring conducted by the Directorate General of Post and Information Technology Implementation were 276 "base stations" that could not be used.

He noted that telecommunication operators were working to restore electricity supply by using "Mobile Backup Power" and waiting for the recovery of the electricity network from PLN.

He further remarked that Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara had also commissioned the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Agency to send 30 satellite telephones to support coordination of disaster management in Donggala and the surrounding areas.

In addition, the Ministry of Social Affairs is moving quickly to send logistical assistance and personnel for Disaster Preparedness Team (Tagana) as an effort to handle emergency response after the earthquake in Donggala, Central Sulawesi.

"We have identified the resources owned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and activated the social disaster management system, in terms of emergency aid buffer stock, evacuation equipment, tagana volunteer personnel, and disaster alert vehicles," Social Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita stated here on Saturday.

Social Minister Kartasasmita has also coordinated with the Armed Forces (TNI) commander in order to mobilize relief goods and evacuation equipment prepared from the Ministry of Social Central Warehouse in Bekasi.

The aid sent was one thousand boxes of fast food, two thousand beds, 25 multipurpose tents, three thousand roll tents, two packages of public kitchen equipment, and 1,500 mattresses.

"To this end, Kamensos has coordinated with the TNI commander to prepare Hercules aircraft for the delivery of emergency assistance from the central warehouse. The Ministry of Social Affairs has also ordered to mobilize emergency assistance from the existing stock at Gudang Regional Timur through land routes," he stated.

Assistance from the East Regional Ministry of Social Warehouse in Makassar distributed by land comprises 100 beds, two family multipurpose tents, 1,500 mattresses, three thousand blankets, 200 family kits, 200 kids items, 100 roll tents, 345 food items, and 100 clothing packages.

"We have also coordinated with the Gorontalo Provincial Government since the Gorontalo Regional Government warehouse is stocked with goods from the Ministry of Social Affairs that will also be mobilized to the disaster area," he added.