Avoid engaging in blame game over New Year's catastrophe: speaker

Avoid engaging in blame game over New Year's catastrophe: speaker

People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo (ANTARA/Zuhdiar Laeis/pri).

I do not want those in the central and regional administrations to blame one another
Jakarta (ANTARA) - People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo urged central and regional governments and communities to not engage in a blame game over the deadly flash floods and landslides hitting greater Jakarta areas early this year.

In its place, Soesatyo called on all related parties within the central and regional governments, whose areas were ravaged by the catastrophe over these past three days, to strengthen synergy and cooperation to prevent a relapse of a similar disaster in future.

"I do not want those in the central and regional administrations to blame one another. If needed, please announce publicly if there are state officials, who are working slowly. Let the people at large give a judgement," he noted in a statement in Jakarta on Friday.

Soesatyo appealed to the central government and regional administrations, whose areas were hit by the flash floods and landslides that claimed at least 43 lives, to seek a comprehensive and permanently binding solution to tackle the problem at the roots.

To this end, both central and regional administrations will support the implementation of their plans to deal with flooding and other potential natural disasters, he noted.

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The flash floods and landslides, ravaging certain areas in Jakarta and several districts and cities in the provinces of West Java and Banten over these past three days, have claimed at least 43 lives and affected 409 thousand others.

Most of the affected people were found in Bekasi City in West Java, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman, Agus Wibowo, noted in a press statement.

The agency recorded that the catastrophe affected 366,274 residents of Bekasi City, while 20,939 and 13,230 people respectively in Jakarta and Bogor District, West Java, bore the impacts of the floods.

The flash floods and landslides also struck the areas of Lebak District and Tangerang Selatan City in Banten Province as well as those in Bekasi District, Bogor City, Depok City, and Cikarang District in West Java Province, Wibowo remarked.

In helping social workers provide food packs for the flood survivors in Jakarta, state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina (Persero) distributed 146 Bright Gas and 12-kilogram gas canisters to handle the demands of 13 public kitchens.

The company's spokesperson, Dewi Sri Utami, had stated earlier that the gas canisters were distributed to the public kitchens on Thursday after those from PT Pertamina's Marketing Operation Region III coordinated with the authorities of BNPB and Jakarta's Social Affairs Office.

A total of 146 gas canisters were handed over to 13 of the 20 public kitchens that the authorities had set up around the capital city to provide food packs to the flood survivors, she remarked, adding that the gas canisters will again be distributed to those in need.

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