Indonesia quake reconstruction cost put at more than $3 billion

by Marianne Kearney Tue Jun 13, 11:01 AM ET

JAKARTA (AFP) - Rebuilding Indonesia's quake-hit central Java will cost more than three billion dollars, with the scale of residential destruction rivalling that of the tsunami in Aceh.

A senior official from the State Planning and Development Agency said a preliminary government assessment of quake damage found that it would become one of Asia's most costly disasters in recent times.

"Based on our very quick assessment, the total amount was 29.1 trillion rupiah (3.1 billion dollars)," Suprayoga Hadi, the coordinator for post-quake reconstruction at the agency, told AFP Tuesday.

The amount is less than the 8.1 billion dollars estimated to be needed for reconstruction in tsunami-battered Aceh and some six billion dollars needed for both reconstruction and relief in Pakistan after its deadly quake last October.

But it comes in at substantially more than the 2001 quake to hit India's Gujarat, which killed more than 25,000 people. Reconstruction there is expected to eventually cost 1.7 billion dollars.

"Actually we are quite surprised, the number of damaged houses -- 360,000 houses -- is much higher than Aceh," Hadi said. The December 2004 tsunami destroyed some 127,000 houses.

The figure from his agency included 75,000 totally destroyed houses, 117,000 seriously damaged and 170,000 moderately damaged houses, based on a June 7 assessment. He said the numbers had probably risen since then.

The quake hit densely-populated Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, killing some 5,800 people.

Separately the National Disaster Coordinating Agency said Tuesday that its assessment completed three days ago showed nearly 157,000 homes had been totally destroyed, 184,000 seriously damaged and 259,000 moderately damaged by the 6.3-magnitude quake.

Government officials had initially said that rebuilding would cost as little as five trillion rupiah (about 500 million dollars).

Asked how the government would fund reconstruction, Hadi said Jakarta would probably appeal for foreign funds when it meets key international donors at the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) on Wednesday.

"The answer is at CGI. I think the government will appeal for assistance from international donors," he said.

He said that although more houses were damaged in the quake than in Aceh, the damage to infrastructure and the economy was not as severe. Nevertheless, he said reconstruction of the region would probably take two to three years.

"After the CGI we will prepare an action plan for reconstruction which is shorter than for Aceh, maybe a maximum of two to three years," Hadi said.

The World Bank, which chairs the CGI, said Monday that plans for the reconstruction would be major topics at the one-day meeting. But it expected Indonesia would ask that some of its loans be redirected for reconstruction work rather than for fresh loans.
_________________________ Indonesian Business and Investment News Aggregator