President Jokowi scheduled to visit tsunami-hit Palu

President Jokowi scheduled to visit tsunami-hit Palu

The condition of Palu city in Central Sulawesi province after the 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the region on Friday (Sept 28) ANTARA photo/ BNPB/pras.

Palu, C Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Sunday is scheduled to visit Palu, Central Sulawesi, to lead humanitarian operation in the province, which was hit by magnitude-7.4 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami on last Friday (Sept 28).

President Jokowi was expected to lead a roll call ceremony on handling of disaster mitigation efforts, Yusuf, spokesman of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), said here on Sunday.

Currently, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto and Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Marshal Hadi Thahjanto, as well as Chief of Basarnas M Syaugi are already in Palu.

At least 100 rescue personnel have been deployed to search and help victims of the natural disasters in Palu and Donggala.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), a total of 2.4 million people have been affected by the quake in 13 sub-districts in Donggala and eight sub-districts in Palu.

As of Saturday evening, the number of evacuees in Palu has been estimated at 16,700 people, being housed at 24 locations.

"Until 17:00 hours, based on preliminary data, a total of 384 people have died, and 29 in Pantoloan Induk, Palu city, remain missing," BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

A total of 540 people have been injured and treated in five hospitals.

BNPB Chief Wilem Rampangilei said, however, that the number of deaths from the earthquake had risen to 420.

"This is the number recorded in Palu only. It has not covered Donggala and Sigi districts," he noted, replying to Antara on Saturday evening.

The destruction caused by the quake in Donggala and Sigi has been very significant, but no reports about its degree and victims have been received yet, due to disruptions in communications, he said.

The government has prepared Rp560 billion to provide relief, in response to the earthquake and tsunami.

Finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in Jakarta on Saturday the money was an on-call fund kept at the BNPB.

Reporting by M Darwin Fatir
Editing by Fardah