President Jokowi visits quake, tsunsmi-stricken areas

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) visited areas affected by quake and tsunami disasters in Palu, Central Sulawesi, here on Sunday.

President Jokowi arrived at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri airport aboard Air Force Beoing 737-400, accompanied by public works minister Baduki Hadimuljono, head of Presidential Secretariar Heru Budi Hartono, the president`s military secretary Rear Marshal Trisno Hendradi and chief of presidential security force Major General Suhartono.

The commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said the President had used an airforce plane because of the condition of the airpory`s runway.

"Only 2,000 out of 2,400 meter long runway can be used. Yesterday I also came aboard Boeing 737-400 with my entourage," he said.

Minister/ State Secretary Pratikno said on Saturday evening President Jokowi had decided to visit the region to personally see the impact of the 7.4 magnitude quake and tsunsmi that followed.

"He would give directives regarding priorities that must be taken and make decisions needed in dealing with the impact of the disaster on the field. The main focus now is evacuating victims and delivering aid supplies," he said.

He said difficulties in conducting coordination due communication distuptions as the impact of a quske and tsunami had been the factor behind the president`s decision to personally see the situation in the field.

President Jokowi had visited Undata hospital where hundreds of victims were being treated, Antara regional bureau chieg Rolex Malaha said.

A notice board at the official residence of Central Sulawesi governor Longki Djanggola showed a total of 668 people had died so far due to the quake and tsunami incidents.

A total of 632 people were wounded, 29 still unaccounted for and 31,230 evacuees stayed in shelters while various buildings and roads had been damaged or destroyed.

The data could still change as efforts to find victims and evacuation are still ongoing. The data has not yet covered affected areas such ad Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong districts but has only covered the city of Palu.

In his tweet before President Jokowi said "I wish to see by myself the situation and assured handling of the impact of the quske and tsunami in Central Sulawesi and evacuees is carried out well."

Rolex Malaha reported weather on Sunday was very hot while evacuees were seen staying under trees. They need tents to be made into shelters after their houses collapsed as well as food aid, he said.

Reporting by Rolex Malaha, Budi Setiawanto
Editing by Yoseph Hariyadi