President Jokowi sends chief of staff to observe quake-hit Aceh

President JokoWidodo (Jokowi) sent his chief presidential staff TetenMasduki to Aceh to observe the aftermath of the earthquake disaster that hit Pidie Jaya District on Wednesday morning.

“I have ordered everyone to act according to their respective authorities. The chief of the presidential staff will also leave for Aceh,” President Jokowi said at the State Palace on Wednesday.

The president noted that he had received a report on the earthquake: “An earthquake occurred in Aceh. I have received a report on it.”

The head of state said he would continue to follow the developments of the crisis. “We will continue to follow the developments in Aceh. We hope there will be no victims.”

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has reported that 14 buildings collapsed as a result of the earthquake, which measured 6.5 on the Richter scale.

“Ten shophouses and four houses collapsed. Several electricity poles in Pidie Jaya also crumpled, and one resident was injured,” BNPB chief of the information data center and public relations SutopoPurwoNugroho stated.

He pointed out that the BNPB command post had confirmed to the agencys regional office that the earthquake had no potential to trigger a tsunami.

The BNPB official said people had felt strong tremors for 15 seconds in Pidie Jaya and the Pidie districts.

“Several buildings collapsed. The quake also destroyed one mosque in Bireuen District,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Head of the Pidie Jaya Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) Puteh A Manaf earlier said the earthquake had claimed four lives.

He noted that the earthquake had destroyed several houses and places of worship and at least 30 people were injured.

“Several mosques and other public facilities and houses collapsed due to the earthquake, but we still dont have the exact number of how many buildings were damaged,” he added.

The epicenter of the quake was located at 5.19 degrees northern latitude and 96.36 degrees eastern longitude, at a depth of 10 km, some 18 km northeast of Pidie Jaya.

The tremor occurred at 5:03 a.m. local time and was felt in Pidie Jaya, Pidie, Aceh Besar, Sabang, Bireun, and Lhokseumawe.

“Following the 6.4-magnitude earthquake, there were four aftershocks, but they had no potential to trigger a tsunami. However, the public are advised to stay vigilant against more aftershocks,” Head of the Sabang Meteorology Office Siswanto announced.

An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale is capable of causing considerable damage, while a 6 on the scale can cause severe damage.

The Geology Office said it will send its own team to Pidie Jaya.

Social Affairs Minister KhofifahIndarParawansa is scheduled to visit Aceh as well to see the extent of the damage and provide aid relief to people whose houses have been destroyed, especially in Pidie Jaya.

Source: Antara News