Central Sulawesi province in Indonesia is maintaining its status of emergency five months after earthquakes, a tsunami and soil liquefactions rocked the area.
According to The Jakarta Post, the emergency status was supposed to be lifted this week. However, authorities and government bodies got together for a meeting and decided to extend the emergency status until April 23.
Longki Djanggola, the governor of Central Sulawesi, said Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla called in the middle of the meeting and told the participants to make sure the temporary shelters provide electricity and clean water for citizens.
Kalla then agreed to extend the emergency status.
This marks the third time the emergency status has been extended. It was first issued on September 29, followed by an extension until December 25. The status was then extended again until February 23 before the latest extension.
Dedi Askary, Central Sulawesi representative of the National Commission on Human Rights, said continuous extensions did not change anything and only prolonged the suffering of the survivors living in 400 shelters.
As of now 488 of the targeted 699 shelters have been built in the Palu, Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong areas. However, some of them do not have access to clean water and electricity.
In addition, 3,000 permanent houses are projected to be built in the Tondo Palu Timur subdistrict. The Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation is said to be backing the construction plans.
As of now, only 1,606 of the 4,402 people killed in the disasters have been identified and verified.