Indonesia to build mass grave monument in Palu’s devastated village

Mr Wiranto

Mr Wiranto

The Indonesian government is planning to build a mass grave monument in western Palu’s devastated village of Balaroa as chances to retrieve more bodies from muds mixed with debris of houses are running slim.


The Balaroa village was sucked down into the earth due to liquefaction following the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that hit the Central Sulawesi’s provincial capital of Palu on Sept. 28.


The quake has made soil beneath the village liquefying, eventually sucking all houses and buildings above, buring alive the occupants.


Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Wiranto said that the option to end the search and build a mass grave monument in Balaroa had already been consulted with local government and religious figures.


The Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency has announced that the search and evacuation of bodies would be called off on Thursday, October 11.


“If the search takes too long time, it would be not good for the people there. They might get sick from diseases (generated from the site),” Wiranto said.


The other thing that leads up to the option was the risk for the searching activities as the muddy ground remained unstable and could drag down the excavators below the ground.


Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency estimated earlier that at least 1,000 residents of the village were buried along with their houses deep in the ground.


The figure came up from the estimated 1,000 houses affected by the liquefaction in the village, according to the agency.


Wiranto said the government expected to complete the rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in the provinces’ earthquake and tsunami-affected areas within two years.


He also said that the government would build temporary houses for families for those losing their houses from the disaster.


“Those houses were for temporary use before we build permanent houses for them,” he added.


The multiple disasters in the province has severely damaged infrastructure, power and telecommunication networks, public houses as well as government buildings.


The situation was worsened by the looting of stores, supermarkets and banks due to the lack of food and supplies, eventually paralyzing the economy in the city in the aftermath of the disasters.


Indonesian foreign ministry said that the government has received fund assistance commitments conveyed by several foreign countries to help Indonesia in dealing with efforts to mitigate impacts of the disasters.  -Xinhua

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