PM Lee sends condolence letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo over Java quake, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

PM Lee sends condolence letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo over Java quake

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday wrote a letter of condolence to Indonesian President Joko Widodo after an earthquake hit West Java and claimed the lives of at least 252 people, many of them children.

The city of Cianjur, south of Jakarta, was near the epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Monday afternoon.

In addition to those killed, the Indonesian authorities reported that the earthquake left more than 300 people with serious injuries and at least 600 with minor injuries.

In his letter, PM Lee said he was deeply saddened to hear about the loss of many lives caused by the earthquake.

“On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I express my deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and those affected by the disaster. Our thoughts and prayers are with the government and people of Indonesia during this difficult time,” he said.

PM Lee added that he is confident Indonesia will recover quickly from this adversity, and extended an offer of assistance in relief efforts.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Tuesday that Singapore’s embassy in Jakarta is in close contact with the local authorities on the situation.

“There are currently no reports of Singaporeans among the casualties or injured. MFA will continue to monitor the developments closely,” the ministry added.

Many fatalities were caused by buildings that fell, as well as landslides triggered by the earthquake. Some of the dead were students at an Islamic boarding school, while others were killed in their own homes when roofs and walls fell in on them.

Rescue efforts have been complicated by electricity outages in some areas and 117 aftershocks. On Tuesday, dozens of rescuers used heavy machinery to try and clear the road to Cianjur, which was cut off by a landslide.

Indonesia’s national disaster agency reported that the earthquake, which struck at a depth of 10km, was felt strongly in the capital Jakarta about 75km away.

It damaged at least 2,200 homes and displaced more than 5,000 people.