More than 1400 prisoners are reported to have escaped from prisons in Sulawesi after the island was hit by earthquake and tsunami on the weekend.
I’m sure they escaped because they feared they would be hit by the earthquake. This is certainly about life or death for the prisoners, “said Sri Puguh Utami in the Justice Department.
The inmates disappeared from crowded prisons in Palu and Donggal in Sulawesi. More that 844 people have been confirmed dead so far in the natural disaster. The death toll is expected to rise even more as the rescuers still struggle to reach the worst affected areas of Donggala and the Balaroa region.
Atleast 600 injured people are being treated in the hospital. There is power cut on the affected region which is hampering the rescue operations. The shortage of fuel has also been reported which results in the long queues at the petrol pumps around Palu.
People are trying to flee from Palu. AP reports that around 3000 residents had flocked to the Palu airport trying to get out.
Lian Gogali, one of the rescuers to reach the affected areas of Donggala north of Palu, reported that the homes of hundreds of people have been destroyed. She also said that hundreds of people are facing lack of food and medicine and are trying to get out of the area. The roads are blocked and evacuation team is yet to arrive.
The bodies of some of the victims are buried in the mass grave near Palu which has space for around 1000 people.
People are clearly frustrated with the damage of property and lives and want to get out of the damaged areas.