Indonesia's quake-hit district in eastern Papua province heads to recovery

Saturday, 2019-03-30 19:43:13
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Jayapura district of Indonesia's eastern Papua province has entered a three-month transitional emergency period for recovery on Saturday (March 30) after flash floods and landslides have damaged 2,287 houses, the country's disaster agency official said in Jakarta.

The new status of emergency period, starting on Saturday and will end on June 27, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

"A coordinating meeting has decided to end emergency status and shift it to a transitional emergency status toward recovery for three months of period," he told Xinhua in a text message.

During the period, all the activities in the emergency status could continue except search for the missing people, said Sutopo.

A 14-day emergency status was put in place after the natural disaster struck the district on March 16, according to the agency.

The catastrophe left 112 people dead and 961 others injured with 153 having serious wounds, said Sutopo.

The number of damaged houses climbed significantly from the agency's report on March 23 of 253 units.

Still, the number of evacuees ratcheted down significantly to 4,763 from a peak of 11,556 on March 23.

The disaster also damaged 59 school buildings, five bridges, two churches, three office buildings, one market and one health clinic, he said.

Flash floods have been frequent in remote Papua province, but the one striking on March 16 was among the worst. Deforestation at the upstream area of a river was blamed as one of the triggers of the catastrophe, according to the agency.

Indonesian environment ministry plans to conduct reclamation and reforestation at the areas to prevent such disasters from happening again in the future.

Indonesia is often hit by flash flood, flood and landslide during heavy rains.

Xinhua