Panic-stricken Gunungbatu residents flee after land shifts

Panic-stricken Gunungbatu residents flee after land shifts

"Some people are still displaced, but at night, the number of refugees will increase," he said.
Sukabumi, Jabar (ANTARA) - Several hundred residents of Kampung Gunungbatu, Kediri Liunggunung, Sukabumi District, West Java, opted for evacuating to safer ground owing to the shifting of land on which their settlements are built.

"Some 150 people residing in Kertaangsana Village, Nyalindung Sub-district, decided to evacuate to a platoon tent, mosque, relatives' homes, and other locations," Asep Has, Kertaangsana Village's community leader, noted in Sukabumi on Friday.

The locals fled to safer ground following concerns of the wide-ranging impacts of the disaster. Furthermore, the physical damage to several houses was apparent from the cracks developing on the walls and tilts owing to the foundation collapsing following the cracks.

Furthermore, torrential rains have triggered panic among residents to live in their homes coupled with the increased shifting of land and the cracks in their houses and land widening. They sought refuge as a preventive measure against casualties or other untoward incidents.

Asep, also a volunteer, pointed to the residents' plight, particularly of some children below five years of age, who sought refuge, over fears of their health deteriorating and falling sick, while rains had resulted in quite cold conditions in the refugee camps.

The government, particularly the Geological Agency, has been called on to conduct research at the disaster site at the earliest, so that the danger status of the land shift would become clearer to all.

"Some people are still displaced, though the evacuee count will rise at night. Precautionary measures have been taken to facilitate residents and volunteers," he remarked.

Asep remarked that according to information, Sukabumi District's Social Service Office will set up a public kitchen in the refugee camp for serving the residents.

Moreover, his side will make use of the former market land to build a provisional refuge with plywood for the refugees' comfort.

He noted that public toilets and other sanitation places will be provided around the refugee camps for the residents to bathe, wash, or carry out other household tasks.

Sukabumi District Secretary Iyos Sumantri confirmed on Friday (Apr 26) morning of paying a visit to the refugee camp in Gunungbatu Village to review the condition of the residents and seek solutions to the land shifting issue as well as offer emergency assistance to residents reeling from the disaster.

At the disaster location, several dozen houses incurred damage and several hundred were facing threat from the disaster, for which prompt response was elicited, and a Geology Agency team was deployed. EDITED BY INE