President departs for quake-hit Yogyakarta

Sabtu, 27 Mei 2006 15:28:08
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Jakarta, ANTARA News - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to depart for Yogyakarta on Saturday afternoon at around 3 p.m. to visit victims of the earthquake that hit the region earlier in the day.

A quake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale rocked Yogyakarta city , Klaten, Bantul and Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta Province on Saturday morning at around 5.55 a.m. local time.

The temblor which was felt at between the fifth and sixth level of the Modified Marcelli Intensity (MMI) in Yogyakarta, threw residents into panic amid rumours about impending tsunami.

Yogyakarta Police Chief Brigadier General Bambang Sampurna Jati said that at least 1,424 people were killed in the disaster, and thousands of others were injured.

''I will go to the earthquake hit areas,'' the President told the press after officially opening a congress of the New Indonesian Society Party (PIB) in Jakarta on Saturday.

Yudhoyono was initially to leave for Yogyakarta on Sunday, but after observing the magnitude of the damages and fatalities, he decided to leave on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the Bantul district administration Bambang told El-Shinta radio that in Bantul alone, some 1,555 people were killed and over 2,000 people were injured in thee disaster.

The quake`s epicenter was located at 8.26 degrees southern latitude and 110.23 degrees eastern longitude, at a depth of 33 kilometers below the sea level, about 37.6 kilometers of south of Yogyakarta.

Telecommunication network and electricity supply in Yogyakarta were cut off due to the earthquake, which could be felt at the fifth level of Modified Marcelli Intensity (MMI).(*)
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