At least 92 people have been arrested for looting on the Indonesian island of Celebes after the earthquake and tsunami, police said today in the region where the distribution of aid to those affected by a disaster that has caused at least 1,407 deaths.
Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said the arrests were made for the theft of cars, motorcycles, cigarettes, coffee and food in five areas of the province of Central Celebes.
"We hope there are more detainees, today we have a team to guarantee the safety that watches motorcyclists around Palu," the agent told Efe.
Most of the robberies occurred in Palu, the provincial capital, although they were also registered in the municipalities of Sigi, Toli-Toli and Donggala, Dedi said in a press conference in which they presented dozens of detainees and stolen objects.
The Indonesian Army has deployed several soldiers in front of shops, ATMs, gas stations and airports while the authorities work to coordinate the distribution of assistance to the region, where more than 70,000 people have been displaced.
In Palu, the most affected by the catastrophe, the military trucks and the disaster management agency transporting supplies cross the streets, where tranquility usually predominates.
During the night, the Red Cross also distributed aid to the displaced, including blankets and mattresses, which arrived in the area by sea, the humanitarian organization reported.
Some 350,000 people live in Palu, the city where the majority of the displaced are located and where electricity has been restored in some districts, although widespread power outages continue.
In more remote areas, the displaced report that they have received little help after the disaster, which has also caused 2,500 serious injuries and left more than 65,000 houses damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and various mudslides that followed.