Bekasi, W Java (ANTARA) - The West Java Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) informed that its personnel continue to verify at least one thousand houses reported damaged at various levels of severity due to Sumedang's recent shallow earthquakes.

The verification is needed before owners of the damaged houses in the district receive the government's financial assistance, the agency's acting head, Dani Ramdan, said in Bekasi, West Java, on Saturday.

He said a series of shallow quakes, with the highest magnitude of 4.8, struck Sumedang District, West Java Province, on Dec 31, 2023, and reportedly damaged some 1,300 houses.

In the first stage, the BPBD-West Java Office has distributed the central government's assistance ranging from Rp15 million to Rp60 million to 300 house owners, Ramdan added.

"Now, we are focusing on the damage assessment. For the households having received the government's assistance can start repairing their houses," he said.

Related news: Sumedang hit by 4.8 earthquake from unmapped fault: BMKG

According to Ramdan, the agency's personnel also assessed the severity of damage for schools and houses of worship affected by the recent shallow quakes.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday (Jan 3), Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono pledged to prioritize the repair of Sumedang Public Hospital and SMAN 1 school buildings in the aftermath of the quakes.

Hadimuljono noted that the building repair would start next week as the Sumedang Public Hospital's operating and dialysis rooms had to be repaired immediately.

He said his side had checked the post-earthquake condition of several strategic infrastructure facilities, including the Cisumdawu Toll Road, Cipanas Dam, Sadawarna Dam, and Jatigede Reservoir.

The minister revealed that the assessment results showed no damage to infrastructure facilities, which have been declared "safe."

The epicenter of the shallow earthquake with the highest magnitude of 4.8 that struck Sumedang on Sunday evening (Dec 31, 2023) was five kilometers deep.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported two aftershocks following the quake. The aftershocks did not cause any damage.

According to the head of the agency's Earthquake and Tsunami Center, Daryono, the 4.8-magnitude quake was a "shallow crustal earthquake" triggered by the movement of an active fault in the area.

The Sumedang earthquake may be associated with the Cileunyi-Tanjungsari fault, he added.

Related news: Earthquake: Govt to prioritize repair of Sumedang hospital, school

Translator: Pradita KS, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Bayu Prasetyo
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