Home Affairs Minister Denies Looting Happened in Palu
Date 30 September 2018
Minister of Home Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo denied reports in the online media about looting after earthquake and tsunami hit Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi, on Friday (28/9).
The Minister, who happened to be at the location where looting are reported to take place, asserted that at that time electricity was cut off, airport was paralyzed, store located in the airport was collapsed and the items were scattered outside the store.
The affected residents then took the items, so it is untrue that people were looting the store, Tjahjo said in his press release in Jakarta, on Sunday (30/9).
Palu Airport suffered damages to its runway, several buildings are also collapsed, electricity was cut off, and there was no security personnel securing the area. Minister of Home Affairs, who was at Palu Airport when the reported “looting” happened, admitted that the Airport had minimal security after the quake.
That is what I know. The report is untrue, the Minister firmly said.
According to the Minister, displaced residents and patients at the hospital were in dire need of aid because stores were closed and electricity was cut off.
Therefore, Minister of Home Affairs in a coordinating meeting urged the regional government to purchase food and beverages for those in need.
Purchase food and beverages at every available store, and distribute the items to the affected residents and those who are hospitalized, the Minister firmly said.
Considering the urgency, Tjahjo instructed the regional government to purchase food and beverages and pay the store owner for it. The electricity is cut off and aid will reach the affected areas at night after being transported from neighboring region.
Because the residents have not received food aid yet while all stores are closed, we need to help them to fulfill their needs. Thats why I instructed the governor to purchase food and beverages from the stores. It will be paid with collective money in which the Minister of Home Affairs also contributed, Tjahjo said.
In an emergency, prompt action is needed. Any action must be taken to help the affected residents immediately. In this case, the Regional Government look for store that still provide food and drinks, buy the items by using the Regional Governments budget, and distribute it to the displaced residents and patients at the hospital.
I instructed them to meet the store owners, buy the items, ask Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) and Indonesian National Police (Polri) personnels to secure the distribution of the items, Tjahjo added. (Puspen Kemendagri/ES) (RAS/YM/Naster)