Bandung, West Java (ANTARA) - Delegates of the 11th East Asia Local and Regional Government Congress pooled a total of Rp1.5 billion (US$96 thousand) in donations for victims of the 5.6-magnitude earthquake that struck Cianjur on Monday (November 21, 2022).

"Praise be to God, I inform you that all congress delegates conveyed their condolences, and they also pooled donations amounting to Rp1.5 billion for Cianjur residents," West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said, according to a statement issued on Friday.

The funds would be used to purchase items that are urgently needed by the victims and distributed to intended recipients, he informed.

During the opening ceremony of the congress at Gedung Sate here on Thursday (November 24), Kamil and other delegates donned black ribbons on their left hands to express their condolences over the Cianjur quake, which claimed over two hundred lives.

"All delegates wore a West Java-style batik, which I designed. We also donned a black ribbon on our left hand," the governor informed.

The congress served as a platform to collaborate and exchange knowledge on improving the conditions of humanity and people's prosperity, he added.

"To share new knowledge and resources to save humanity and civilization and to be more prosperous are the purpose of the East Asia Local and Regional Government Congress," Kamil said.

Meanwhile, acting Head of the Government Affairs and Regional Autonomy Bureau of West Java Province, Dodit Ardian Pancapana, said that the delegates not only wore black ribbons, but also directly expressed their condolences to their Indonesian colleagues.

"There was also a moment where we engaged in a collective prayer, which showed the solidarity of the congress delegates to West Java, as the congress is also the medium to bolster solidarity among Asian countries," he added.

He said that without Kamil raising the subject of the disaster, the delegates at the event took the initiative to convey their condolences and donations.

The provincial authority is seeking cooperation and exchange of knowledge on disaster mitigation with Japan's Shizuoka Prefecture authority, Pancapana added.

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Translator: Ajat Sudrajat, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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