Social Affairs Minister to visit earthquake-hit Aceh

Social Affairs Minister KhofifahIndarParawansa will visit Pidie Jaya District, Aceh Province, which was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale, on Wednesday.

“We have deployed a team there, and the Social Affairs Minister plans to visit Pidie Jaya on Friday (Dec 9),” Director General of Protection and Social Security of the Social Affairs Ministry Harry Hikmat said here.

The ministrys team, led by the director of Disaster Mitigation, left for Pidie Jaya on Wednesday morning.

The Social Affairs Ministry has deployed personnel from the Disaster Mitigation Office (Tagana) to help evacuate injured residents and remove the bodies of dead victims.

The ministry has also opened public kitchens to feed the local residents rendered homeless by the natural disaster.

Minister Parawansa is currently on a visit to Papua, which began on Dec 2.

She expressed her sympathy to the Pidie Jaya inhabitants and prayed for the victims and for their families to be strong in facing the ordeal.

The strong earthquake claimed at least 20 people and injured more than 30 others.

The earthquake also destroyed several houses and places of worship, Head of the Pijay Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) Puteh A Manaf said.

“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 stated.

Source: Antara News