Thu, 09 Nov 2000

Governor agrees with relocation plan

PURWOREJO, Central Java (JP): Central Java Governor Mardiyanto expressed his agreement on Wednesday to the Purworejo regent's suggestion to resettle residents affected by the recent landslides in the area but added that talks with the residents were needed before the plan could go ahead.

Speaking to journalists during his visit to the village of Kemanukan in the Bagelen district, Mardiyanto stressed that discussions between the provincial and regency administrations and the affected residents were crucial.

"The residents must be consulted about the plan," he said but declined to say where the residents might be relocated to.

The regent of Purworejo, Marsaid, said on Tuesday that resettlement of the residents of the 14 villages devastated by the deadly landslides on Sunday was a must after it was determined that the affected areas were not suitable for living in.

Marsaid said he hoped that a donor would pioneer the resettlement plan.

In terms of aid, the governor said that during the first 15 days the residents would mostly need food. "We must move fast. Aid in the first 15 days should be in the form of food stuffs. In the next 15-day period medicine, building materials and stationary for school children will be distributed."

"I don't have any idea when the situation will return to normal," he said.

The governor donated cash totaling Rp 35 million and four tons of rice for the disaster affected residents. While the Diponegoro Military chief Maj. Gen. Sumarsono donated two tons of rice, with another two tons of rice coming from the Central Java State Logistics Agency and from the provincial village cooperatives.

Regent Marsaid said that his office had received various donations from the public, including Rp 40 million in cash, 11 tons of rice, 745 boxes of instant noodles and medicine.

"The cash total does not include the money collected by the villagers through donation boxes put on roadsides," he said.

Meanwhile, rescue workers reported that another body was found on Wednesday, bringing the total bodies recovered to 48. The body of Sutejo, 46, a resident of Kemanukan village, was recovered from the debris of his house which had been buried under two meters of mud, a rescue worker said.

Records indicated that eight people were still missing.

Most of the roads in the affected districts were still blocked by mud.

The traffic between the regency of Purworejo (Central Java) and the Kulonprogo regency in Yogyakarta has yet to return to normal.

Mardiyanto said the administration would borrow heavy equipment from the military to repair the damaged infrastructure in the three districts. (23/sur)