Cianjur. The government will provide financial assistance for residents in the West Java town of Cianjur to rebuild their homes destroyed by Monday’s earthquake, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Tuesday as he visited the quake-stricken area.
Each household will receive between Rp 10 million and Rp 50 million ($3,187) depending on the severity of the damages.
“But the important thing is to rebuild homes to the earthquake-proof standard as mentioned by the public works and housing minister,” the president told reporters.
The minister, Basuki Hadimuljono, accompanied the president along with National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo, Armed Forces Commander General Andika Perkasa, and several other cabinet members.
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Jokowi added the current priorities now are to evacuate victims and reopen access to allow relief supplies to reach the worst-hit areas in Cianjur, which became the epicenter of the earthquake.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Monday evening the daylight earthquake destroyed more than 2,300 buildings and killed at least 162 people mostly children, who were still in their classrooms when the disaster struck.
But the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB, put the death toll at 103 as of Tuesday morning.
Rescue workers continued the search for victims under the rubble after being interrupted by the dark night as electricity was cut off in most of the areas in Cianjur.
The earthquake also triggered landslides in some places that buried roads and destroyed vehicles.
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the earthquake was measured at 5.6 on the Richter Scale at the depth of 10 kilometers.
It’s not the quake magnitude that fatally impacted Cianjur, but rather its shallow depth that produced intense shaking and became much more damaging.
“It’s categorized as a shallow earthquake at the depth of less than 10 kilometers so it doesn’t take a magnitude of 7 or above to cause destruction,” BMKG’s Earthquake and Tsunami Center Head Daryono said on Monday.