Jakarta, Aug 29 (IANS) The Indonesian government will soon commence reconstruction and rehabilitation in tourist destination Lombok Island rattled by strong quakes in recent weeks, leaving at least 560 people dead, an official said here on Wednesday.
The Indonesian President, Joko Widodo in Yogyakarta province said that he would revisit Lombok Island at the weekend to closely watch the rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure facilities in the island, Xinhua news agency reported.
The most up-to-date data issued by the national disaster management agency on Wednesday showed at least a total of 83,392 houses and as many as 3,540 other infrastructure facilities were severely damaged by the jolts.
“We want all (the rebuilding works) to be completed as soon as possible, I set a target of six months for the works,” President Widodo said in a statement issued by the presidential office.
The distribution of aids to the quake-affected folks, Widodo said, must be speeded up in order to create knock-on effects on the economy in the areas reeling from the quake risks.
To cope with possible quake, the construction of the houses and buildings to be built should be able to resist the powerful quakes, using proven technology, said Widodo.
Hundreds of experts would be sent to Lombok Island to guide the residents on how to set up new houses or building complying with the criteria, he cited.
Spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho revealed that the multiple powerful quakes, with scale hovering from 6.4 to 7.0 magnitude, striking from July 29 to mid of August have severely injured a total of 1,469 residents and forced as many as 3,96,032 others to flee home and take shelter in makeshift encampment.
“The scale of damages could extend as the assessment of the downside risks persists,” the spokesmen told Xinhua in a text message.
A total of 400 technical experts will be sent to the quake-hit areas to assist in the reconstruction and rehabilitation, he added.
Again, the spokesman cited that tents, tarpaulins, food, medical staff, and baby food are among the dire needs of the evacuees in the quake-hit areas.
Indonesia had undergone a five-year reconstruction and rehabilitation in Aceh province after a powerful quake triggering a mega-tsunami levelled the province in the northern tip of Sumatra Island along with nations situated alongside the Indian Ocean in December 2004, leaving over 1,70,000 people dead in the province.