President Jokowi again visits quake-hit C Sulawesi

President Jokowi again visits quake-hit C Sulawesi

Earthquake survivors in a refugee tent in Vatulemo Square in Palu, Central Sulawesi. The magnitude-7.4 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the region has claimed more than 1,200 lives. ANTARA PHOTO/Hafidz Mubarak A/wsj.

Jakarta, (ANTARA News)- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) again visited Central Sulawesi which was severely hit by magnitude-7.4 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami, on Wednesday morning.

The Head of State would review handling of rescue efforts and visit several refugee camps in Palu and Donggala, Bey Machmudin, a spokesman of the President, said.

A Boeing 737-400 aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force, with the President and his entourage on board, departed from Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base, East Jakarta, at 7 a.m. local time.

Jokowi was scheduled to visit Petobo residential area which has disappeared after being swallowed by mud and earthquake, Wirabuana Hospital, and Roa-Roa Hotel that were destroyed by the natural disasters on Sept 28, 2018.

President Jokowi visited Palu on Sept 30, 2018. And he now returns to Palu again to make sure a swift response in handling natural disaster impacts.

"The most important is a swift response that will solve the problems in the fields," Jokowi told the press on Oct 2, 2018.

Members of the Presidential entourage include Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani, Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang, Technology Research and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir, and Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.

Jokowi and entourage will return to Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier, Jokowi outlined four priorities in handling efforts to rescue and assist victims of the natural disasters affecting Palu, Donggala, Sigi, and Parigi Moutong districts, Central Sulawesi Province.

The four priorities are search, rescue, and evacuation efforts; medical assistance; helping refugees in shelters and emergency tents; and infrastructure reconstruction efforts, the president noted at a limited cabinet meeting in Jakarta, Tuesday.

The limited cabinet meeting was attended by Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto, Coordinating Minister for Development of Human and Culture Puan Maharani, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian, Chief of the National Defense Forces (TNI) Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, and Chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) M. Syaugi.

The head of state urged Basarnas, the National Police, and TNI to increase the number of personnel to help in rescue and evacuation efforts not only in Palu but also to go deeper to Donggala, Sigi, and Parigi Moutong.

Reporting by Agus Salim
Editing by Fardah, Suharto