Gresik, E Java (ANTARA) - Literacy activist and founder of Surabaya city puppet library, Bahana Patria Gupta, helped heal the trauma of children in Bawean Island, East Java, who have suffered from the impact of last week's powerful earthquake.

He visited a temporary shelter in Lautsungai Hamlet of Dekatagung Village, Bawean Island, on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, to gather with the displaced children during which he delivered a puppet show and story-telling.

According to Gupta, facilitating the displaced children being sheltered was important to enable them to play together and have fun amid hardship.

In natural disasters, such as the earthquake, that rocked Bawean Island, which is about 135 km away from north of Gresik City, kids often suffer the most but in terms of the recovery efforts, they are often handled the last, he stated

"If the puppet library comes, the show always sends messages of helping each other, being tolerant, and studying diligently," Gupta, who is also a photojournalist, stated.

Hence, he encouraged the displaced children to study hard and diligently, though they could not yet go back to school due to being affected by the recent quake.

Gupta said he told the kids a story of crocodiles that did not know how to reciprocate.

"The main message of the story is that the kids who get helped by their friends need also do the same to the helpers," he remarked.

Related news: Quake survivors in E Java's Bawean Island need therapy: BNPB

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) had stated earlier that the survivors of last week's earthquake on Bawean Island need trauma therapy, as many are still experiencing psychological trauma.

Most of the displaced residents, who are currently taking refuge at temporary shelters, are still experiencing psychological trauma from the earthquake and its aftershocks.

The Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD)-East Java Office reported that the earthquake affected 17,644 Bawean islanders. They comprise 6,277 children, 8,834 adults aged between 17 and 55 years, and 2,534 elderly people.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) recorded 149 aftershocks between March 22, 2024, and March 23, following the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Tuban District, East Java, at around 11:22 a.m. local time on March 22.

The epicenter of the quake was located about 132 kilometers northeast of Tuban at a depth of 10 km, while the magnitude of two of the 149 aftershocks was recorded at 5.9 and 6.4.

According to the BMKG, the epicenters of the 5.9 and 6.4 magnitude aftershocks were located about 36 km west of Bawean Island and 126 km from Tuban City.

Related news: BNPB to repair damaged houses of earthquake victims on Bawean Island

Related news: BPBD distributes aid to earthquake-hit residents on Bawean Island

Translator: Indra S, R Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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