Anyone looking for tips on how to appeal the public for calm amid a massive disaster can learn a thing or two from this Indonesian fire department chief.
On Monday, an oil refinery operated by state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina in Balongan, Indramayu, West Java erupted in a massive blaze, which may take at least a couple of more days to be completely extinguished.
Yet Indramayu’s fire department chief Joni Takarasel was completely unfazed when he recorded a video appealing nearby residents for calm, even with a raging inferno as his backdrop.
Kadis PMK Indramayu … Keluargaku di Indramayu Alhamdulillah … pic.twitter.com/ge2u7p41UP
— anaXoleh (@androsalman) March 28, 2021
“The public need not be concerned. I am standing in front of the location of the fire and our firefighters have entered [the location]. The fire is contained inside, so there’s little chance that it would spread outside the Pertamina [oil refinery] complex,” Joni said in the video with not a hint of fear in his voice and demeanor.
The video has, pardon the pun, spread like wildfire in Indonesia, with the particular copy in the tweet above having been viewed 1.5 million times at the time of writing.
“Indramayu’s fire department chief. Thank God my family is in Indramayu,” the tweet above reads.
kadis pmk is how i present myself to other
the background is my mental health condition on the inside depleting https://t.co/tlPO43GqE4
— Vidyan I. Banizian (@Vidyanbanizian) March 29, 2021
Terima kasih Pak Kadis PMK Indramayu yang memberi kami ketenangan. pic.twitter.com/z3i94vRq9x
— Herman Saksono (@hermansaksono) March 29, 2021
“Thank you Indramayu fire department chief for giving us tranquility,” the meme tweet above reads.
According to the latest official data, 29 people suffered minor injuries while six people suffered severe injuries as a result of the fire. Nearly 1,000 residents of nearby settlements had to evacuate their homes to escape the smoke from the fire.
One elderly man who lived near the refinery died from a heart attack, but authorities have yet to conclusively say that the fire and explosions triggered his fatal myocardial infarction.
The fire is still burning to this day, albeit at more contained levels. Officials say that the fire may be completely extinguished by tomorrow.
The cause of the fire is still under official investigation.