Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) encouraged residents, whose houses did not suffer major damages following the 5.6-magnitude earthquake on November 21 in Cianjur, West Java, to return home, as the condition had become safer.

"If residents' houses do not have the three (damage types) which I expound earlier, they can return home to assess their homes," BNPB's acting Disaster Data, Information, and Communication Centre, Abdul Muhari, stated at the Disaster Briefing on Monday (November 28).

Following on-site assessments, the authority could now group refugees according to damages to their houses, he noted, adding that the government also recorded cases of major damage to houses.

Only houses, with broken pillars, collapsed walls, or shifted roofs, could be classified as those with major damages, as structural collapse could occur during aftershocks, he emphasized.

The BNPB official clarified that residents, whose houses had only incurred minor damage, could resume their activities inside their homes.

"They may sleep outside at night because they are lacking in confidence (with regard to the safety aspect), but for daytime activities, such as cooking or others, they can perform it inside their homes," Muhari remarked.

The official then said that economic and logistics activities could resume, as shops, stalls, and markets have been reopened. The government will also encourage residents to resume economic activities promptly, he added.

While the government would continue supplying tarpaulin, tents, and blankets for residents upon request, he expressed confidence that food assistance has reached all refugees.

Muhari pointed out that the national Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had also encouraged residents to resume their normal activities, as aftershocks had gradually subsided.

"If we busy ourselves (with daily routines), our psychological trauma will subside. This is perhaps the suggestion that the BNPB and the main emergency post could provide (to residents)," he remarked.

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Translator: Hreeloita DS, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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