UNESCO offers support to Indonesia in the aftermath of the Earthquake“UNESCO stands ready to assist Indonesia in the aftermath of the tragic earthquake that killed thousands of people in Java on Saturday,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today, as he expressed his condolences to the people of Indonesia.
“I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Indonesia for the terrible tragedy that has befallen them,” the Director-General said. “While first efforts focus on emergency relief to help the injured, the hungry and the homeless, UNESCO is preparing to provide expertise and share its experience in dealing with the damage caused to World Heritage sites affected by the earthquake.”
The Director-General also proposed UNESCO’s support in the Organization’s other fields of competence, namely education and media rehabilitation.
According to early reports, the 10th century Prambanan Temple Compounds, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991, sustained some damage. Press reports indicate that the quake sent some of the temples’ intricate reliefs crashing to the ground destroying years of restoration work at the compound.
If requested, UNESCO will send a mission to Java to assess the extent of damage to World Heritage sites. A representative of the Organization will attend a meeting with the national authorities on 1 June to examine measures to be taken to safeguard and possibly restore the temples of Prambanan.
The Borobudur Temple Compounds (8th and 9th century), also located in Java and inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991, are reported not to have been damaged. Indonesia has seven World Heritage sites, three cultural and four natural sites. Three of the seven sites are located in Java.