Mamuju, West Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Lt. Gen. Suharyanto, appealed to Mamuju earthquake evacuees, West Sulawesi, to return to their homes immediately.

"We ensure that situation is under control. Please, people, don't panic, go back to your homes immediately," Suharyanto said during a meeting held at the West Sulawesi Governor's Office on Thursday.

He added that if evacuees are afraid to go home, he suggested setting up tents next to their respective homes.

"With the (earthquake technology detection device) improving, as soon as yesterday's incident there were four aftershocks, but all of their (intensities) decreased, so we made sure the situation is under control," Suharyanto stated.

However, he recommended that the local government establish an emergency response task force to validate data on the 5.8-magnitude earthquake's impact.

"Emergency response is carried out during initial handling. The initial information said there were 17 people injured. Don't leave something unhandled," he added.

Related news: Thousands flee homes after 5.8-magnitude quake strikes Mamuju

He also urged related parties to look for seriously injured victims and damaged buildings.

"BNPB will help the community and their homes. Please, district head, immediately speed up the data collection, and BNPB will help immediately," Suharyanto said.

Moreover, he hoped the information about West Sulawesi being prone to disasters will continue to be repeated to increase public awareness.

"Later, I will cooperate with BMKG (the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency), to improve the culture of disaster awareness," he said.

During Suharyanto's visit to West Sulawesi, he also handed over ready-to-use funds (DSP) worth Rp250 million, and logistical assistance to the West Sulawesi Provincial Government.

Meanwhile, the Acting Governor of West Sulawesi, Akmal Malik, said that people are still worried about the earthquake incident from the previous year.

"The 2021 (earthquake) really haunted our society. So, after this earthquake, many people quickly evacuated," Malik said.
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Translator: Amirullah, Kenzu T
Editor: Suharto
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