Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian police will double their strength to secure Palu by deploying two thousand extra personnel in the near future as several fuel trucks of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina began filling up the tanks of petrol stations around the earthquake and tsunami-hit city on Tuesday.
"We are going to deploy up to two thousand extra personnel to Palu to secure the city and its surrounding areas to enable locals to resume their daily activities," National Police Spokesman Inspector General Setyo Wasisto said here on Tuesday.
Wasisto admitted that the shortage of fuel stocks at the gas stations around the devastating city has not only disrupted the residents mobility but has also hampered the police to optimize their routine patrols.
"Under the police escort, several fuel trucks of the state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina have arrived in Palu. The fuel is expected to be distributed to petrol stations around the city so that the peoples activities can get back to normal," he said.
Shortly after Palu, the capital city of Central Sulawesi Province, was struck by the 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on Sept 28, which resulted in the loss at least 1,234 lives, the National Police dispatched 500 personnel.
However, in strengthening the security measures around the city, at least two thousand extra police personnel would be deployed to safeguard business centers and shops to prevent them from being looted.
Besides sending extra personnel, the National Police would also dispatch several trucks and motorbikes to support the policemens mobility and enable them to intensify routine patrols.
In helping on-duty law enforcers secure the city in the aftermath of the deadly catastrophe, Wasisto urged the local residents to exercise self-restraint by not being committed to crimes and to assist the police to restore the law and order.
Police Spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo had earlier remarked that the police and military personnel had been dispatched to safeguard several gas stations and minimarkets around Palu to prevent them from being looted.
"The police and military personnel will secure the gas stations and minimarkets to prevent a number of local people, in need of food, from looting them," he added.
Palu suffered the worst impact of the strong earthquake and tsunami. Besides Palu, the disaster also affected those in the districts of Gorontalo and Sigi.
The earthquake was followed by tsunami, which had smashed the coasts of Palu and Donggala District. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) recorded that the catastrophe had killed 1,234 people.
Source: ANTARA News