The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, visited this Thursday the area most affected by the 5.6 magnitude earthquake that took place this Monday on the main island of that Southeast Asian nation, which has so far caused 271 fatalities, and urged to prioritize evacuation tasks.
Indonesia earthquake deaths rise to 271
According to national media reports, the head of state visited the Cugenang subdistrict, Cianjur, West Java, where he toured several evacuation centers.
The president stressed that evacuation tasks are the main priority in the face of forecasts that indicate the proximity of severe rains in the coming days, which would make the search for survivors or victims more complex, as well as the provision of aid to the affected areas.
Widodo appreciated that the recovery work is carried out in complex conditions. He noted that “it is still raining and there are still aftershocks. The ground is unstable, so care must be taken.”
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) specified that more than 160 aftershocks have been registered to date. However, their intensity is expected to decrease in the near future.
The director of said government office, Dwikorita Karnawati, explained to the press that they are working with the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing to remove the rubble from landslides caused by the earthquake in Cianjur, to prevent flash floods due to the proximity of the rains.
So far, more than 2,000 people have been injured due to the earthquake, which forced the evacuation of around 61,000 people.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said some 56,000 houses were damaged and 171 public facilities, including schools, were destroyed.