Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) lauded volunteers that contributed to disaster response missions following the 5.6-magnitude earthquake that struck Cianjur District, West Java, in November.

"We express our utmost gratitude to volunteers, who are always present in every disaster response mission," BNPB Chief Secretary Lilik Kurniawan stated in Cianjur, West Java, as per the statement received here, Tuesday.

Kurniawan said that volunteers are BNPB partners and informants, who provide reliable on-site data, thereby allowing the agency to conceive the most strategic measure in responding to information fed by volunteers.

During the disaster response following the quake in Cianjur, the BNPB had paid attention and responded to information provided by volunteers, he noted.

The BNPB official encouraged all parties to evaluate every disaster response mission they undertook to ensure improvement in future missions.

Kurniawan opined that since most natural disasters occurred with recurring characteristics, all parties should also study vulnerable areas to step up vigilance against disasters.

"An earthquake is a recurring event, and it will certainly occur, yet we have no idea when the disaster will strike," Kurniawan pointed out.

According to the BNPB's volunteer information site deskrelawanpb.bnpb.go.id as of Monday (December 12) at 11 a.m. local time, a total of 7,744 volunteers from 555 institutions are working in 15 sectors on the Cianjur quake disaster response.

The BNPB earlier distributed stimulant funds to 647 families whose houses were damaged by the earthquake in Cianjur District's Nagrak Village.

The government provided stimulus funds, worth Rp15 million, to families whose houses were lightly damaged, Rp30 million for moderately damaged houses, and Rp60 million for severely damaged houses.

"According to President Joko Widodo's direction, the stimulant funds must be used to build houses," head of BNPB Lieutenant General Suharyanto stated while symbolically handing out the aid to residents of Nagrak Village as quoted from a statement on Friday (December 9).

He noted that the house construction work must be conducted in accordance with recommendations from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR), and residents are recommended to build earthquake-resistant houses.

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Translator: Devi Nindy Sari R, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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