Indonesia continues relief efforts post-quake, tsunami

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Indonesia on Thursday continued relief efforts for the sixth consecutive day, following the 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit its Sulawesi Island last Friday.

According to the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), the death toll from the quake and tsunami has risen to 1,558, with 113 missing.

It said 1,407 dead bodies have been buried in a mass grave.

Some 2,549 people are critically injured and are receiving treatment at hospitals in and outside Palu city, the BNPB added.

A total of 66,238 houses are estimated to be destroyed, and the number of internally displaced people has climbed to 70,821.

On the sixth day of relief efforts, the Indonesian government and all sectors of the community are trying to restore conditions in disaster-hit areas.

In a Cabinet meeting, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced priorities in handling the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, including processing evacuation and search for victims, medical treatment and aid, accelerating restoration of electrical networks, accelerating fuel supplies, distribution of logistics and food staples, accelerating restoration of telecommunications networks, and coordinating foreign assistance.

Telecom restoration

In efforts to restore telecommunication networks, the STO (automatic telephone center) has been restored by using a power generator. The main network of Palu-Donggala and Palu-Parigi-Manado has also been repaired.

In central Sulawesi, 50.7 percent of the Central Transceiver Station (BTS) out of a total of 3,133 stations have been restored.

In Palu, 46 out of 203 have been recovered, while 126 BTSs are in recovery process. All of the BTSs are being temporarily powered by batteries.

Meanwhile, free telephones and wi-fi services are available at 11 points, including Makorem Palu, Mutiara Airport, the mayor’s office, the governor’s office, Undata Hospital, the regional disaster management agency of Donggala, and Radio Republic Indonesia (RRI).

Communications Ministry and Telecommunications Operators have also prepared VSAT and satellite phones at a number of points, especially government offices and hospitals.

The fuel supply in Palu is already supported by 41 mobile fuel stations.

A total of 100 gas station attendants have been brought in from Makassar. Solar fuel for 22 days and premium fuel for seven days are available.

On electrical power, the 125 MW pre-earthquake capacity is estimated have suffered a 30 percent reduction in load post-earthquake.

Besides a number of urban strategic points, business locations are also beginning to start functioning.

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