President holds dialog with Aceh quake victims

To the quake victims, President Yudhoyono asked them to remain calm and patient in face of the disaster that may happen anytime without warning.
Banda Aceh, Aceh Province (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Ketol subdistrict in Central Aceh district on Tuesday held a dialog with the victims of last week`s devastating earthquake.

In the company of First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and several cabinet ministers, the head of state arrived at 10.15 am local time at Ketol subdistrict which bore the brunt of the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that jolted the districts of Bener Meriah and Central Aceh last Tuesday.

To the quake victims, President Yudhoyono asked them to remain calm and patient in face of the disaster that may happen anytime without warning.

President Yudhoyono said he had instructed the national Search and Rescue Board, the National Defense Forces and the National Police to continue to search for other missing victims in Central Aceh district.

At least 40 people were killed after the earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale rocked the two districts on July 2.

By Sunday 12 people were still missing and 150 others were being treated for serious injuries. The quake also damaged 2,432 houses seriously and 3,380 houses lightly.

In the cabinet meeting in Jakarta on Monday, the president instructed his ministers to speed up the emergency responses and reconstruction processes following the natural disaster.

Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah earlier said that he was grateful to the central government for its quick response to the disaster.

"The Aceh government is thankful to the central government for its quick reaction by sending relief aid to the affected area, including the visit by a number of ministers a day after the quake struck the area. We are also thankful to the commander of the Iskandar Muda regional military command and the chief of the Aceh provincial police and their ranks and files who have helped victims," he said.(*)

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