We have the same hope as the family: to find the victims before the emergency response period ends.
Cianjur, W Java (ANTARA) - The Cianjur district government has decided to continue search efforts for eight victims who were buried in a landslide caused by the 5.6-magnitude earthquake on November 21, 2022.

It made the decision after the search team could not find them on the 18th day of the operation.

"The searching was still conducted at two locations at Sate Sinta area and Mangunkerta Street. We have the same hope as the family: to find the victims before the emergency response period ends," regional assistant I of Cianjur district government, Budi Rahayu Toyib, informed here on Thursday.

He said that the government still cannot massively deploy search and rescue (SAR) personnel due to the presence of soil and the possibility of rainfall in the afternoon, which could threaten the safety of the personnel.

Hence, the search operation is relying on the utilization of heavy equipment, he added.

The Cianjur district government official informed that the operation will continue until December 20 and the number of heavy equipment deployed has been increased.

"The joint SAR team continues to monitor (the operation), hence once the heavy equipment finds the victim's body, the body can be immediately evacuated," he explained.

Furthermore, he noted that the number of houses damaged by the earthquake had increased.

According to recent data, 26,213 houses experienced light damage; 15,757 houses suffered moderate damage; while 13,241 houses were heavily damaged in the quake.

In addition, 18 health facilities, 279 worship places, and 540 educational facilities were damaged in the quake.

It has been estimated that the number of damaged buildings will continue to increase since officers from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and related agencies are still conducting data collection and verification.

Earlier, on Thursday morning, President Joko Widodo disbursed assistance to 8,100 people in Cianjur District for rebuilding their houses.

"We hope that those who have received the assistance can immediately rebuild their homes and can continue their life as usual. Residents whose houses were slightly damaged may also leave the evacuation posts, although most choose to stay," Toyib said.

He noted that his office has received some donations and so far, some Rp3.04 billion of it has been spent on meeting public kitchen needs, making clotheslines at evacuation posts, as well as providing refugee tents.

He added that the remaining donation fund was Rp11.3 billion.

Currently, the death toll from the Cianjur earthquake has reached 334.

Related news: BMKG prohibits public to rebuild settlements along Cugenang Fault
Related news: Bangka Belitung Islands donate Rp1 billion in cash to Cianjur

Translator: Ahmad Fikri, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2022