Ambon (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) will rebuild some public facilities that were damaged in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Tanimbar Islands district, Maluku, at 2:47 a.m. local time on Tuesday (January 10, 2023).

"This is a manifestation of the central government's attention to Mr. President Jokowi’s (Joko Widodo’s) directives. Even though the earthquake a few days ago was not so massive, marked by no direct casualties from the earthquake, but, of course, the Tanimbar Islands district is a part of the Republic of Indonesia, which they have the same rights as the regions," BNPB head Suharyanto said after inspecting some facilities damaged by the earthquake in Saumlaki on Thursday.

The central government will assist the area, just like other areas impacted by the earthquake, by disbursing aid for residents whose houses have been damaged. It will provide Rp60 million for heavily damaged homes, Rp30 million for moderately damaged, and Rp15 million for lightly damaged houses.

The government will use the verification in the Tanimbar Islands district government's report by the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry as a parameter to determine the value of aid disbursement.

"For this reason, the data collected by the regional government will immediately be reported to the center, so hopefully, in the not too distant future, the rebuilding of houses for people affected by the earthquake can be pursued with no delay," he said.

Maluku province’s governor has declared an emergency response status for 14 days from January 10 to 24, 2023, as stipulated through Decree Number 86 of 2023 as well as Decree Number 361/10 of 2023 issued by the head of Tanimbar Islands district.

Even though there are no refugees because people have, on average, fled to their relatives’ homes, the government will still meet the basic needs of the people by distributing ready-made logistics worth Rp250 million, which will be distributed by the district government of Tanimbar Islands.

For daily operations during the emergency response, the central government has provided assistance of Rp350 million, he added.

As for one victim who died while diving, it has not yet been confirmed whether the quake was the cause of the death or not. However, it is still a cause for concern, he noted.

"I will monitor. The provincial and district governments will provide compensation later on," he said.

Suharyanto confirmed that the post-earthquake reconstruction process in Tanimbar would be pursued as soon as possible. He urged the police and national defense force in the regions to assist the local government so that the process runs within the targeted time.

"I have said many times to the regional government, national defense force, and police force to assist in data collection. In other places, it is sometimes slow due to data collection. I tell the head of district and officials to immediately report the existing data, it's okay if it has to be (collected in) two phases. The important thing is that it is certain so that people who are impacted don't have to wait too long for the assistance provided by the central government," he added.

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Translator: Simon Lolonlun, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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