The landslide blocked the road for approximately 150 meters. We will try to fix it in two days.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lieutenant General Suharyanto informed that the handling of the recent landslide in Natuna District, Riau Islands, showed significant progress on the third day after the disaster.

"On the third day after the disaster, there has been better progress," he said in a written statement received here on Friday.

For instance, the communication network system has been restored, he added. The national telecommunications network service provider on Serasan Island repaired BTS towers to resume operations on Thursday.

As a backup, BNPB has prepared several satellite telephone sets provided by BNPB, Military Resort Command (Korem), and Army Headquarters, he informed.

Suharyanto assured that all the devices were ready to be used at any time in an emergency.

"All means of communication are working. There are five BTS that have been repaired. We also have seven satellite phones from Korem and Army Headquarters as well," he informed.

Furthermore, Suharyanto said that until the third day, road access was still cut off since the road was still covered with avalanche material. The main obstacle faced in the process of opening the road was the weather conditions, with rainfall still occurring frequently.

However, he assured that the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) will deploy heavy equipment to open the road within two days.

"PUPR will open the road in a maximum of two days. The landslide blocked the road for approximately 150 meters. We will try to fix it in two days," he said.

Once the road access is reopened, the electricity poles will begin to be installed and restored to return the electricity supply to normal, he added.

He informed there were seven electricity poles that collapsed in the landslide.

Regarding the basic needs of refugees, Suharyanto said that all of the refugees' needs had been fulfilled at the evacuation center and there was no shortage of clean water.

In addition, assistance for refugees from the central government continued to arrive on Friday, with a total of 16 tons in aid coming in by sea.

He said that all aid that had arrived at Serasan would be distributed promptly, in accordance with the results of the coordination carried out.

"The basic logistical needs for 1,216 refugees have been covered. From the central government through BNPB, 16 tons have arrived on Serasan Island," he informed.

Based on search and rescue progress on March 9, at least 30 bodies had been found and identified. Meanwhile, 24 residents were still missing. The number of refugees reached 1,216 and they were divided across four evacuation posts, Suharyanto said.

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Translator: Devi Nindy Sari R, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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