Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ordered that the Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB, be quick in mitigating the effects of Friday's (15/12) earthquake, an official said on Saturday.
The earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hit the southern coast of Java on Friday night, killing three people in West Java and Central Java.
After the powerful earthquake, which was followed by at least 19 aftershocks, residents had to be evacuated from several areas, as 950 buildings — houses and public facilities along the coastline — were destroyed, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said during a press conference in Jakarta.
"The head of BNPB has reported the situation to the president, who ordered a swift mitigation response," Sutopo said, adding that the agency's chief is now personally leading the mitigation in Tasikmalaya, West Java, which was closest to the epicenter.
BNPB officers in the field are collecting data on the number of the displaced.
"Some of them are staying at shelters provided by the authorities, some at public facilities, such as schools and places of worship, or at their relatives' houses," Sutopo said.
The earthquake has affected West Java, Yogyakarta, Central Java and East Java.
Sutopo said the authorities are distributing aid to the victims and a rescue operation is ongoing.