Indonesia

Indonesia's quake-hit province to build tsunami evacuation shelter

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JAKARTA, Dec 19, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The administration of Indonesia's quake-hit province of West Sumatra planned to construct a tsunami evacuation shelter worth 34 billion rupiah (about 3.6 million U.S. dollars), located within the province's governor office compound in the capital city of Padang, a local media reported here on Saturday.

Dodi Ruswandi, head of the administration's Road, Spatial Plan and Residential Area Agency, said that the province administration office has acquired half of the funds need to finance the project from the central government.

"We have completed the design and we are going to auction the construction tender on January," Dodi was quoted by the Tempointeraktif.com as saying.

Dodi added that the upper two stories of the four-story building would be used as shelters for refugees when tsunami disaster strikes in.

The other lower two stories would be used as administration offices.

The would-be built building is designated to become a model for other city and regency administrations in building their own tsunami evacuation shelters.

Experts have warned earlier that the area, which lies near the colliding Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates, will bear the brunt of Indonesia's next major earthquake, as the final segment along the stretch is shifting and is expected to unleash a massive amount of energy.

The zone's other segment has already cracked, a large portion of it off Aceh. This crack triggered the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Indonesian parliament had approved a 300 billion rupiah (about 30 million U.S. dollars) of relief fund to assist reconstruction and rehabilitation in areas destroyed by a powerful earthquake in the province in September this year.

The 7.9 -magnitude quake killed over 1,100 people, destroying tens of thousands buildings and houses in the coastal province.