At the crowded refugee camps, they are vulnerable to being exposed to COVID-19 since we are still in the midst of the pandemic.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Dwikorita Karnawati appealed to the 6.1-magnitude (M) quake refugees in West Pasaman District, West Sumatra Province, to return to their homes if their buildings are undamaged.

"The magnitude of the aftershocks is getting weaker. We ensure the public to not be worried about the quakes anymore," Karnawati remarked during an online press conference on Tuesday.

The agency head stated that until now, more than 160 aftershocks were recorded after the main 6.1 M earthquake that rattled the district.

However, only six aftershocks were sensed by the people since most of the shocks were of a small magnitude, so they were not felt by the community.

According to the BMKG head, the condition of the Sumatran fault that triggered the earthquake has been more stable, considering the declining magnitude of the aftershocks.

Thus, Karnawati urged residents, whose houses were still intact, to return home instead of staying in refugee camps.

Related news: Six thousand residents evacuate after earthquake in West Pasaman: BNPB

"At the crowded refugee camps, they are vulnerable to being exposed to COVID-19 since we are still in the midst of the pandemic," she stated.

Furthermore, she advised the people, who are still reluctant to stay inside their homes due to the aftershocks, to set up a tent in their house yard.

The agency has also coordinated with local social and health offices to ready psychosocial service for the refugees.

"We will coordinate with the local government to offer trauma healing," Karnawati added.

After a 6.1-M earthquake struck West Pasaman District on February 25, 2022, the BMKG had surveyed the vulnerability of the soil at the local settlements by mapping the damage level of the buildings.

The BMKG also continued to monitor and map the aftershocks to predict when the tremors will end.

The result of the survey will become the recommendation for the regional government to strictly impose the building code to establish earthquake-resistant buildings, especially in disaster-prone zones.
Related news: West Pasaman earthquake's death toll climbs to six
Related news: Most West Pasaman evacuees fearing aftershocks opted for main shelters

Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Uyu Liman
Editor: Suharto
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