INDONESIA – Soldiers ordered to shoot looters on sight after earthquake that killed over 1,400

Witnesses have spoken of residents who have taken to digging through reeking piles of sodden food and debris, searching a warehouse wrecked by the tsunami for anything they could salvage: cans of condensed milk, soft drinks, rice, sweets and painkillers.

This aerial photo shows Indonesian soldiers burying quake victims in a mass grave in Poboya in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 2, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - The Indonesian government on October 2 said the death toll from a devastating quake-tsunami on the island of Sulawesi had risen to 1,234 people, up from the previous count of 844. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD / AFP)JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
This aerial photo shows Indonesian soldiers burying quake victims in a mass grave in Poboya (Picture: AFP)
|AIWA! NO!|Soldiers have been ordered to fire on people caught looting on the quake and tsunami-struck island of Sulawesi.

Over the last week, desperate survivors have been raiding shops for food and water but as aid now starts to trickle in, the authorities have vowed to end it.

This morning, local military colonel Ida Dewa Agung Hadisaputra revealed soldiers had now been given orders to shoot people spotted stealing from shops.

Indonesian soldiers stand guard in a devastated area in the Petobo subdistrict in Palu on October 4, 2018, following the September 28 earthquake and tsunami. - A total of 1,411 people have been confirmed dead and over 2,500 injured after the monster earthquake struck on September 28 sending destructive waves barrelling into Sulawesi island. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP)ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images
Indonesian soldiers stand guard in a devastated area in the Petobo subdistrict in Palu (Picture: AFP)

‘If there is looting again, we will quickly fire a warning shot and then shoot to immobilise,’ he said.

‘They tried to loot on the first day, when gasoline… and water were not available. Stores were also closed. ‘That kind of situation caused them to loot.’ ‘We could tolerate it (looting) on the first and second day because they needed those things,’ he continued. ‘But on the third day, they started looting things like electronic equipment.’

A quake survivor salvages items from the debris of a house in Wani, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 3, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Nearly 1,400 people are now known to have died in the quake-tsunami that smashed into Indonesia's Sulawesi island as UN officials warned the "needs remain vast" for both desperate survivors and rescue teams still searching for victims. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD / AFP)JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
The quake has flattened entire neighbourhoods (Picture: AFP)

The Indonesian military are wanting to restore order before the aid convoys land amid fears that trucks and planes carrying food could be ambushed. The move comes hours after the DEC – a group of 14 UK aid agencies – launched a joint fundraising appeal to try to help the survivors and the first British aid plane will leave today.

So far, 1,424 people are confirmed dead and more bodies are being brought out on an hourly basis. However there is a lack of heavy equipment to dig them out and the number of body bags is running low. When they are found, the dead are hastily buried in mass graves to prevent the spread of disease.

TOPSHOT - Medical team members help patients outside a hospital after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu, on Sulawesi island on September 29, 2018. - Rescuers scrambled to reach tsunami-hit central Indonesia and assess the damage after a strong quake brought down several buildings and sent locals fleeing their homes for higher ground. (Photo by MUHAMMAD RIFKI / AFP)MUHAMMAD RIFKI/AFP/Getty Images
Medical team members help patients outside a hospital in Palu (Picture: AFP)

Sadly, it has been days since anyone has been found alive in the rubble. A further 2,549 are severely injured while aid workers say there are 200,000 people in dire need of food, water or medical aid.

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