Indonesia’s earthquake, tsunami not declared a national disaster

(VOVWORLD) - The Indonesian Government will not declare the powerful earthquakes and subsequent tsunami in Central Sulawesi a national disaster, but it will accept international aid, said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

The Indonesian government will not raise funds for victims of the natural disasters during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Bali from October 8 to October 14.

Pandjaitan said Indonesia does not have to do that as national funds are sufficient to handle the impact of the quakes and tsunami. He said the IMF WB annual meetings will be held as scheduled, as all sides involved have already made elaborate preparations.

Indonesian authorities said natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes are normal in Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”. They called for response measures and improvement of the forecast and analysis capacity of the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG).

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, some 190,000 Indonesian citizens in Central Sulawesi are in need of humanitarian aid after the province was hit by strong earthquakes and a tsunami. The disaster has racked up a total of nearly 1,300 deaths.