Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) expressed its readiness to extend help to the West Sumatra provincial government in building more shelters to anticipate a potential tsunami.

"The current number of shelters is still low, so the BNPB will coordinate with the local governments. If their budget is limited, the central government will build additional shelters," BNPB Chief Suharyanto remarked at the commemoration of Disaster Preparedness Day on Friday.

He highlighted the existing shortage of shelters in West Sumatra, considering its location in an earthquake- and tsunami-prone area.

He underscored the criticality of having such shelters in the province. In addition to the Sumatra Fault, he pointed to the presence of the Mentawai Fault, which can potentially trigger earthquakes of magnitude up to 8.9.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, also agreed to the shortage faced in terms of the number of evacuation shelters available in West Sumatra.

"We request BNPB's help in building additional shelters in West Sumatra," he said.

He admitted to being surprised that the rehabilitation and reconstruction process after the 2009 earthquake in West Sumatra had yet to be completed.

Effendy cited as an example the presence of a building inside a private university area that was damaged by the earthquake and was eventually abandoned, as it was about to collapse.

This showed that the post-earthquake handling or reconstruction process has not been carried out fully, he emphasized.

He also assessed that the disaster prevention measures applied in the province until now are far from optimal.

"I ask for concrete and quick steps from the West Sumatra provincial government to follow up on this," he stated.

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Translator: M Zulfikar, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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