Palu earthquake-tsunami: Looting survivors being held as toll goes over 1.2k
There were reports of officers firing warning shots and tear gas to ward off people ransacking shops in Palu, a coastal city ravaged by a 7.5-magnitude quake and the tsunami it spawned
More than 1,200 people are now known to have died in the quake-tsunami that smashed into Sulawesi, Indonesia said Tuesday, as police pledged to clamp down on looting by survivors taking advantage of the chaos. There were reports of officers firing warning shots and tear gas to ward off people ransacking shops in Palu, a coastal city ravaged by a 7.5-magnitude quake and the tsunami it spawned.
Almost 2,00,000 people are in need of urgent help, the United Nations says, among them thousands of children. Survivors are battling thirst and hunger, with food and clean water in short supply, and local hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of injured. Police said Tuesday that they had previously tolerated desperate survivors taking food and water from closed shops, but had now arrested 35 people for stealing computers and cash.
"On the first and second day clearly no shops were open. People were hungry. There were people in dire need. That's not a problem," said deputy national police chief Ari Dono Sukmanto. "But after day two, the food supply started to come in, it only needed to be distributed. We are now re-enforcing the law." "There are ATMs. They are open... If people steal, we catch and investigate," he added.
Dozens of students among dead
Among the dead are dozens of students whose lifeless bodies were pulled from their landslide-swamped church in Sulawesi. "A total of 34 bodies were found by the team," Indonesia Red Cross spokeswoman Aulia Arriani told AFP after the grim discovery, adding that 86 students had initially been reported missing from a Bible camp at the Jonooge Church Training Centre.
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