Indonesia’s earthquakes: Military plays important role in relief work

The work performed by Indonesian soldiers in support of the victims of the recent natural disasters has reflected the nature of a military of the people, a professional national military, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said of the role of the armed force.

Indonesia’s earthquakes: Military plays important role in relief work

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 73rd founding anniversary of the Indonesian military, the leader also highlighted the military’s importance in safeguarding the national integrity and responding to natural disasters.

On the occasion, he expressed his strong belief that the military will win further respect from other countries in the world, describing the work as evidence proving that the force is always the first and the most important in defending the country and providing help to the people.

President Widodo and the participants observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi province on September 28.

Indonesia announced on October 5 the death toll from the disaster had swollen to 1,558.

Central Sulawesi was ravaged by two devastating quakes measuring 6.1 and 7.5 on the Richter scale. The second was followed by giant tsunami waves on the afternoon of the same day, destroying thousands of houses and roads.

The United Nations said that nearly 200,000 Indonesians, including tens of thousands of children, are in need of urgent aid.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

In December 2004, a massive 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean countries, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia. –VNA

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