Jakarta, Oct 4 (IANS) At least 92 people were detained for looting on Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, where at least 1,407 people died after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami last week, the Indonesian police said on Thursday.
Cars, motorcycles, cigarettes, coffee and food products were stolen in the five regions of Central Sulawesi province, according to police spokesperson Dedi Prasetyo, who added that the police expected more arrests.
Most of the looting occurred in Palu — the provincial capital — although thefts were also recorded in Sigi, Toli-Toli and Donggala regencies, Dedi said at a press conference where dozens of detainees and stolen items were presented, reports Efe news.
The Indonesian military has deployed several soldiers in front of shops, ATMs, gas pumps and airports as the authorities work to coordinate the distribution of aid to the region where more than 70,000 people have been displaced.
In Palu, most affected by the earthquake, military and disaster management agency’s trucks were distributing relief goods along the roads, while the Red Cross distributed blankets and mattresses that were brought to the area by sea, the organisation said.
Most of those displaced by the earthquake were among the 350,000 residents of Palu. Though the power supply has been restored to some districts, rolling black outs continued to hit the city.
Inhabitants of more remote, rural areas complained of a lack of aid and support since the disaster, which also left 2,500 people with serious injuries and damaged over 65,000 houses.