Jakarta. The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi at the end of last month have so far cost Indonesia nearly $1 billion in damages, while the amount is expected to rise even further, the national disaster agency said on Sunday.
"The BNPB's rehabilitation and reconstruction team has made a quick calculation on the impact of the disaster. The temporary calculation as of Oct. 20 has reached more than Rp 13.82 trillion [$909 million]. The financial impact of the disaster is expected to increase," National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said in a statement.
He added that the estimate is based on Rp 11.83 trillion in physical damages and Rp 1.99 trillion in economic losses.
The official death toll in the magnitude-7.4 quake, followed by a tsunami, that struck the districts of Palu, Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong on Sept. 28 currently stands at 2,256, while 1,309 people were still missing as of Sunday afternoon.
The powerful earthquake also triggered soil liquefaction, which buried hundreds of victims under thick mud, making it difficult to recover their bodies. The government said it would transform these areas into memorial parks.
BNPB data shows that 4,612 people were injured, while the 223,751 who have been displaced are currently housed in 122 temporary shelters.
Several residential areas were devastated by the disaster, with many buildings razed to the ground, which according to estimates, would cost about Rp 10 trillion to rebuild, Sutopo said.
The agency has meanwhile also revised the height of the tsunami, which swept as far as 500 meters inland, to between 2.2 meters and 11.3 meters.
Separately, the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI) has received a commitment from Saudi Arabia's Riyadh Bank for a grant to rebuild the 195 mosques that were damaged by the disaster.
The bank is awaiting the DMI's official calculation of the total reconstruction costs.
The bank's representative, Mamdouh bin Mahmood Abdouh, conveyed the commitment to DMI deputy chairman Syafruddin in Jakarta on Monday.