Rescue efforts in tsunami-hit Palu city
(Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Spokesman of the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency Sutopo Purwo Nurgroho said on October 28 that the reconstruction and rehabilitation programme following the disastrous quakes and tsunami will begin next month.

The country will need more than 10 trillion rupiah (657 million USD) to carry out the two-year programme, he added.

The same day, Indonesian authority put the casualty of the catastrophe in Central Sulawesi province at 2,086, the number of injured people at 4,438, while financial loss ratcheted up to 18.48 trillion rupiah (1.22 billion USD).

Nugroho said the downside risks on economy in the form of financial losses and damages resulted from the quakes and tsunami are expected to rise as the assessments of the impacts have not been completed yet.

Palu capital of Central Sulawesi province is the hardest hit, followed by the district of Sigi, Parigi Mountong and Donggala. Downpour on October 21 triggered floods and landslides in Sigi, hampering rescue efforts in the devastated areas.

Some 32.7 tonnes of relief aids have been channeled to the survivors there.

Earlier, the 6.0-, 7.4- and 6.1-magnitude quakes followed by a tsunami by up to 3 metres on September 28 have destroyed 68,451 houses, 327 religious buildings, and 7 bridges, and cracked roads in 168 areas.

The Indonesian Government is planning to build a new city as alternate to Palu city as it is impossible to re-construct the city on the previous ground. Duyu, Pondok and Pembewe are three locations being considered.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

In 2004, a substantial earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia.-VNA