The government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Saturday denied a rumor that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison beat local citizens and robbed stores as the troops were mobilized to provide disaster relief.
About 1,000 troops from the PLA Garrison in Macao were mobilized on Friday to support relief efforts for the disaster caused by Typhoon Hato in Macao.
The mobilization, the PLA's first disaster relief operation in the region, was at the request of the Macao SAR government and under the approval of China's central government in accordance with the Basic Law of the Macao SAR and the Garrison Law of the Macao SAR.
However, according to Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po, some Macao netizens released posts on social media platforms, claiming that the PLA garrison drove military vehicles to rob stores in the name of disaster relief.
The report said that they also dragged two local citizens to an underground parking lot and beat them to death.
A Macao government statement severely slammed the rumors, saying that the PLA Garrison observes discipline and their work was efficient and orderly.
"The PLA Garrison in Macao since Friday has helped with disaster relief with strict principles and efficiency," the statement says
"The Macao SAR government and citizens showed sincere appreciation and high respect to the efforts of the PLA Garrison in Macao," the statement says.
The National Tourism Administration on Saturday released an urgent notice requiring travel agencies to suspend their trips to Macao from Saturday to Wednesday.
Macao was also hit by Severe Tropical Storm Pakhar and many flights to and from Macao were canceled, local authorities said Sunday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.