TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - As many as 18 friendly countries have offered aid to handle the impact of the powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi province. Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said on Monday.
The 18 countries include the United States, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Hungary, Turkey, the European Union, Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, India and China. International organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also has stated its willingness to help.
The decision to accept international assistance reflects that Indonesia has a good relationship and cooperation with many countries, he said.
"In fact, President Jokowi has visited the friendly countries within the framework of forging close bilateral and multilateral relations, which led to mutually beneficial and helpful relations," he said.
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The friendly countries' offers to extend the aid are the fruit of the president's visits to the countries, he said.
"Of course, the aid cannot be rejected. Many countries have offered aid," he said.
The other consideration to accept the international aid is that Indonesia has often extended relief aid to disaster-affected countries including Bangladesh, Nepal and Somalia.
"This means that mutual aid is an international tradition which is worthy of praise. Thus, we decided to accept the international aid," he said.
In the meantime, the Team of Quick Action (ACT) stated here on Monday that the death toll in Friday's Donggala-Palu earthquake and tsunami had risen to 1,203.
"The number of dead has reached 1,203 at several spots. The largest was in Petobo, which was swept and leveled to the ground by the tsunami," Vice President of ACT Insan Nurrohman stated.
A total of 700 bodies were recorded in Kelurahan Petobo, 10 at Wirabuana Hospital, 201 at Undata Hospital, 50 in Mesjid Raya Mosque, 161 at Bhayangkara Hospital, 35 at the Tawaeli sub-district, two in the village of Kayumalue Pajeko, five in the village of Kawatuna, seven in Pos Pol PP, and 32 at the Madani hospital.
Insan said the death toll is feared to rise, as there were still many missing, including 61 foreign nationals, and 540 seriously injured being treated at several hospitals.
He said 16,732 people were accommodated at evacuation camps in 123 locations in the city of Palu and the districts of Donggala, Sigi, and Parigi Moutong.