West Lombok, W Nusa Tenggara — Retired general Prabowo Subianto, a presidential candidate, visited West Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara, on Wednesday, to meet the victims and to offer humanitarian assistance. He was accompanied by his former wife and daughter of former president Soeharto, Siti Hediati Hariyadi (Titiek) while meeting the earthquake victims at a refugee camp in Guntur Macan Village, West Lombok.
“My presence here is to express our sympathy as we also feel (your sadness) and think about you. We act and give assistance to the public,” Prabowo, chairman of the Gerindra Party, noted. Murni, the Guntur Macan village chief, praised Prabowo for paying a visit and for his concern. Meanwhile, over the past few weeks, a string of strong earthquakes repeatedly rocked Lombok Island, causing serious catastrophes.
image : Antara//AhmadSubaidi
According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, as of Aug 23, the strong earthquakes, including the 7.0-magnitude quake that shook Lombok Island on Aug 5, had killed at least 555 people and caused injuries to 829 others.
Most fatalities were residents of the North Lombok District areas due to their proximity to the strong earthquake`s epicenter. The repeated earthquakes also damaged 23,098 houses and led to the forced displacement of 134,236 people.
In response to the catastrophes, the central government had set a target of six months to complete the reconstruction of houses damaged by the earlier earthquakes.
“The reconstruction must be completed in six months` time. The president has ordered the reconstruction (of the damaged houses) after the emergency response period is over,” Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated during his recent visit to Lombok Island.
On Sept 2, the Indonesian island of Lombok was again rocked by a 5.3-magnitude earthquake on Sunday, but no tsunami warning was issued, and there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
According to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency, the epicenter of the earthquake that hit the resort island at 8:15 a.m. local time was located around 55 kilometers (km) away from the east of Mataram, at a depth of 16 km.