Government will not declare Lombok earthquake “national disaster” – Indonesia
By Panca Nugraha
Vice President Jusuf Kalla confirmed that the earthquakes from Lombok to West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) would remain classified as a local disaster, despite growing calls to “raise” the disaster to national status.
However, the government has pledged to extend its full support for the management of the post-disaster period to the recovery process.
“The catastrophe is indeed of great magnitude. Even though we don’t see it as a national disaster, the treatment process is being carried out nationwide, ”Kalla said during a visit to victims in Kekait village in western Lombok on Tuesday.
Kalla cited the 2004 tsunami that devastated Aceh, which was declared a national disaster. “[It was] because our country could not manage it ourselves. But for now we are still able to handle [the situation] and we don’t need foreign aid, ”he said. Kalla was sworn in as Vice President of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono just two months before the tsunami.
According to him, the current post-disaster management process carried out by the NTB administration, the heads of the affected districts and the relevant ministries went well.
“If the governors and regents are unable to do anything, we can consider it a national disaster,” he said.
A series of earthquakes and aftershocks have rocked the holiday island of Lombok in recent weeks, killing hundreds and displacing thousands. The north of the island has been hit the hardest. (swd)