Govt prepares rp560 billion for handling quake relief

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The government had prepared Rp560 billion to provide relief, in response to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Central Sulawesi on Friday evening.

Finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said here on Saturday the money was an on-call fund kept at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

“BNPB has requested almost Rp560 billion,” she noted.

She said the fund would be immediately disbursed, on Sunday at the latest, so that BNPB could quickly carry out its job.

The government is committed to focusing on saving and assisting victims, she said.

In view of that, she noted that it was not impossible that the funds would be increased to meet future needs.

She said the fund would not be used for rehabilitating infrastructure, but for aid to victims.

“Now is the emergency period, we will help to minimize victims or the wounded. With regard to hospitals and other facilities, we still have yet to assess them,” she said.

BNPB has recorded a total of 2.4 million people who have been affected by the quake in 13 sub-districts in Donggala and eight sub-districts in Palu.

As of Saturday evening, the number of evacuees in Palu has been estimated at 16,700 people, being housed at 24 locations.

“Until 17.00 hours, based on preliminary data, a total of 384 people have died, and 29 in Pantoloan Induk, Palu city, remain missing,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

A total of 540 people have been injured and treated in five hospitals, she added.

Source: ANTARA News