Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has promised to disburse financial assistance for the reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure in Ambon six months after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake devastated the region on September 26.

Jokowi affirmed that the aid distribution scheme and stages for Maluku’s earthquake victims would not differ from those imposed in other regions.

"NTB (West Nusa Tenggara) also received the aid after over six months," Jokowi remarked during a visit to a refugee camp in Tulehu Village of Central Maluku on Tuesday.

Jokowi believes that the aid for building construction will only be disbursed six months after the quake on account that an earthquake would usually at times be followed by aftershocks.

"Why, because we still experience the shocks. If we build them now, they will be damaged again," he stated.

During his visit to Central Maluku, the president held a dialogue with refugees sheltered at the Darussalam University complex and visited the emergency hospital, fish seedling center, trauma healing for children, and refugee tents.

The president has received a report from the Maluku governor and National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head that the strong earthquake that jolted Ambon caused damage to over 12,300 houses.

Of the total damaged houses, two thousand sustained heavy damage, over three thousand incurred moderate damage, and some six thousand received mild damage.

Jokowi has made assurance that the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing and BNPB had been preparing the budget for public housing restoration.

"However, it needs to follow the procedures, first. Secondly, we will have to wait for the tremor to come to a halt," he noted.

The president has appealed to heads of villages and sub-districts to monitor the distribution of aid. Related news: Death toll from Ambon quake rises to 34
Related news: Emergency response period for Maluku's recent earthquake extended


Translator: Hanni Sofia, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
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