He said that after receiving reports about the powerful quake in Lombok, he had immediately ordered the heads of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), as well as chiefs of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police, to help evacuate victims and foreign tourists from Lombok Island, and to provide medical treatment and relief aid for the refugees.
The damage from the three consecutive quakes is apparently severe, with nearly 15-hundred injured and more than 150-thousand displaced.
It says the number could exceed 300 if tallies from local authorities, the military, and other organizations are added.
It said it did not have the potential to cause a tsunami.
Thousands of tourists have also left Lombok since Sunday.
"I visited villages yesterday that were completely collapsed".
Makeshift medical facilities have been set up to treat the injured.
"We still need long-term aid, even though we have already received help from various (regional) governments", national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
A witness said the latest quake sent people into the streets in panic and caused buildings to collapse.
While exchanging messages on Facebook about the quake, many Indonesian speakers used the word "selamat", which has several meanings including "safe", "unhurt" or "congratulations" depending on the context.
But some evacuees have complained of being ignored or experiencing long delays for supplies to arrive at shelters.
"People are always saying they need water and tarps", Spokesman Arifin Hadi told the AP about the current rescue efforts. He also said they're continuing to look for people with untreated injuries.
"I'm still in pain from giving birth", she told AFP. "Overnight the children are cold, they don't have blankets or proper clothing to keep warm", said Hana Yulia, an emergency response worker from the group now in Lombok.