Bandung, West Java (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said he planned to organise special market operations in Cianjur District, West Java, in an effort to stabilise food prices following the earthquake on November 21.

"We hope (if the conditions) have improved, and if the (commodity) prices fluctuate or increase, we will organise market operations, God Willing," Hasan stated after visiting the disaster site in Nagrag Village, Cianjur District, West Java, on Sunday.

The minister said officials still plan the date and sites of the market operations.

Meanwhile, West Java Industry and Trade Office Head Iendra Sofyan asked business actors to be mindful of the disaster in Cianjur and provide assistance for affected residents.

He said his office has also sent official letters to companies in West Java to encourage them to help Cianjur quake victims.

"We have sent letters to companies (to encourage) all parties to deliver assistance to the disaster site," Sofyan said.

The contributions of private sector to those suffering from the impacts of the catastrophe would hugely benefit them as they still need help while remaining at temporary shelters.

"They remain at temporary shelters, and there are urgent needs for public kitchens, blankets, and drink water," he noted.

The office had delivered assistance packages to the Cianjur District authority, which comprise clothes, folding beds and blankets, white shrouds to cover victims according to Islamic burial rituals, and menstrual pads, Sofyan added.

A 5.6-magnitude earthquake had jolted Cianjur on Monday at 1:21 p.m. local time, killing at least 318 people and injuring 7,729 others.

The quake, whose epicenter was located about 10 km away from Cianjur, at a depth of 10 km, also damaged 2,345 houses and forced 73,693 residents to take refuge.

Despite the absence of a tsunami, the quake's tremors were not only felt by residents in disaster zones but also by those in the areas of Jakarta, Bogor, and Bekasi, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

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Translator: Ajat Sudrajat, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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