|EARTHQUAKE on 01/10/2009 at 01:52 (UTC)
SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA 35 km SW Sungaidilin
MAGNITUDE: Mw 6.8
Data provided by: BEO BGSG BUC GFU GFZ JMA LDG LED MSO NEIC
NEWS NOR PTWC RNS WAR
Latitude = 2.52 S
Longitude = 101.66 E
Origin Time = 01:52:28.9 (UTC)
Depth = 10 Km
RMS = 1.53 sec
Gap = 35 degrees
95% confidence ellipse: - Semi major = 9.5 Km
- Semi minor = 5.0 Km
- Azimuth of major axis = 44 degrees
Number of data used = 204
Preliminary location computed on Thu Oct 1 02:25:29 2009 (UTC)
Done by Jean-Paul Santoire
Message number: 1254
All magnitudes estimations :
mb6.1 (BEO) Mw6.7 (BGSG) mb6.0 (BUC) M 6.4 (GFZ)
Mw6.8 (JMA) mb5.1 (LDG) mb5.4 (LED) mb5.6 (MSO)
M 6.8 (NEIC) mb6.3 (NOR) Mw6.8 (PTWC) mb5.0 (RNS)
P.S.: For additional information, please contact EMSC at:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web : http://www.emsc-csem.org (maps available)
- Fax : 33 1 69 26 70 00
Thousands trapped under rubble after powerful Indonesia earthquake
Quake brings down
hospital, hotels, homes and bridges in Padang, western Sumatra
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 30 September 2009 15.07 BST
Television footage shows a foot among the
wreckage after a strong earthquake hit Padang in Indonesia.
Photograph: Reuters TV
Thousands of people were feared trapped under the rubble of
collapsed buildings following a powerful earthquake in the Indonesian
city of Padang, a senior health ministry official said today.
Rustam Pakaya, the head of the health ministry's disaster
centre, said a hospital near the epicentre had also collapsed.
"Jamil hospital collapsed and thousands of people are trapped in
the rubble of buildings," Pakaya said.
The magnitude 7.6 quake was centred 32 miles north-west of the
city in western Sumatra, said the US geological survey.
An earlier quake prompted a tsunami that
struck the Pacific islands of Samoa and American Samoa, killing
more than 100 people.
Local reports said the Indonesian quake brought down buildings
and bridges, damaged houses and started fires. There were no immediate
reports of fatalities but several people were reported injured.
"A number of hotels in Padang have been destroyed," Rahmat
Triyono, of the Indonesian geophysics and meteorology agency was
quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post. "Up to now we haven't been able
to reach Padang. Communications have been cut."
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued an alert but later
cancelled it. Tremors from the quake were said to have been felt in
Malaysia and Singapore.
A 6.2-magnitude aftershock followed the initial quake about 22
minutes later, the meteorological agency said.
The earthquake came hours after another quake triggered a
tsunami that left at least 100 people dead on the Pacific islands of
Samoa and American Samoa.
A resident described the scene to
Indonesia's Metro Television. "For now I can't see dead bodies,
just collapsed houses. Some half-destroyed, others completely. People
are standing around too scared to go back inside. They fear a tsunami.
"No help has arrived yet. I can see small children standing
around carrying blankets. Some people are looking for relatives but
all the lights have gone out completely."
Other eyewitness accounts said people fled on to the streets as
"Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road," Reuters
quoted a witness as saying. "There are some fires, bridges are cut and
there is extreme panic here because water pipes are broken and there
is flooding in the streets."
Padang, a city of 900,000 people, sits on one of the world's
most active faultlines along the "ring of fire", where the
Indo-Australia plate and the Eurasia tectonic plate grind together to
cause frequent tremors and, occasionally, large earthquakes.
The same faultline caused the 2004 tsunami in which 232,000
people died in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and other
countries across the Indian Ocean.
"Padang sits right in front of the area with the greatest
potential for an 8.9 magnitude earthquake," Danny Hilman Natawidjaja,
a geologist at the Indonesian Science Institute, said earlier this
year. "The entire city could drown in a tsunami triggered by such a
quake,." he added.
Deadly Quake Rocks
By NINIEK KARMINI
JAKARTA, Indonesia (Sept. 30) - A powerful earthquake
rocked western Indonesia Wednesday, trapping thousands under
collapsed buildings — including two hospitals — and
triggering landslides. At least 75 people were killed on
Sumatra island and the death toll was expected to rise
The magnitude 7.6 quake struck at 5:15 p.m.
local time (6:15 a.m. EDT), just off the coast
of Padang city the U.S. Geological Survey
said. It was along the same fault line that
spawned the massive 2004 Asian tsunami that
killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen
A tsunami warning for countries along the
Indian Ocean was issued, and panicked
residents fled to higher ground fearing giant
waves. The warning was lifted about an hour
Initial reports received by the government
said 75 people were killed, but the real
number is "definitely higher than that," Vice
President Jusuf Kalla told reporters in the
"It's hard to tell because there is heavy
rain and a blackout," he said.
Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told
MetroTV that a mall and two hospitals had
collapsed in Padang — a sprawling low-lying
city in Western Sumatra province of around
900,000 that geologists have warned could be
vulnerable to a massive quake or tsunami.
"This is a high-scale disaster, more
powerful than the earthquake in Yogyakarta in
2006" when more than 3,000 people died,"
Supari said, referring to a major city on the
main island of Java.
Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health
Ministry's crisis center, said "thousands of
people are trapped under the collapsed
A field hospital was being prepared to
assist the injured and medical teams were on
the way from neighboring provinces, he said.
"Many buildings are badly damaged,
including hotels and mosques," said Wandono,
an official at Meteorology and Geophysics
Agency in Jakarta, citing reports from
Footage from Padang showed flattened
buildings, the foot of one person sticking out
from beneath the debris.
"The earthquake was very strong," said
Kasmiati, who lives on the coast near to the
epicenter. "People ran to high ground. Houses
and buildings were badly damaged."
"I was outside, so I am safe, but my
children at home were injured," she said
before her cell phone went dead.
TV One network said the quake triggered
landslides that cut all roads to Padang. Power
and telecommunications were also cut. Fire
also broke out in buildings on a road to the
city, officials said.
"I want to know what happened to my sister
and her husband," said Fitra Jaya, who owns a
house in downtown Padang and was in Jakarta
when the quake struck. "I tried to call my
family there, but I could not reach anyone at
Wednesday's quake came a day after a quake
with a magnitude of between 8.0 and 8.3 in the
South Pacific hurled a massive tsunami at the
shores of Samoa and American Samoa, flattening
villages and leaving at least 99 dead and
The epicenter of Wednesday's temblor off
Indonesia lies several thousand miles to the
west, on the other side of Australia.
The shaking could be felt in high buildings
in Jakarta, several hundred miles away. It was
also felt in neighboring Singapore and
Padang was badly hit by an 8.4 magnitude
quake in September 2007, when dozens of people
died and several large buildings collapsed.
AP reporters Ali Kotarumalos, Irwan Firdaus
contributed to this article.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
|Great Earthquakes In Diverse Places
More than 1,000 feared dead in Sumatra earthquake*
More than 1,000 people were feared dead and many more trapped under
collapsed buildings last night after a powerful earthquake hit the
Indonesian island of Sumatra.
By Aislinn Laing
Published: 7:46PM BST 30 Sep 2009
Earthquake survivors receive medical treatment at a hospital in Padang
Hundreds of homes and businesses were reduced to rubble when the
earthquake struck near the city of Padang, along the same fault line
that caused the 2004 Asian tsunami.
The 7.6 magnitude tremor came at 5.16pm local time and could be felt in
high buildings in the capital, Jakarta, several hundred miles away, and
in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia. A tsunami alert was sent out to
countries along the Indian Ocean, prompting many to flee to higher ground.
The quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, two of which were over
It came just hours after another earthquake sparked a tsumani
devastating the Pacific islands of American and Western Samoa to the
east of Australia.
The Indonesian death toll was initially set at 200 but health ministry
crisis centre head Rustam Pakaya gave warning it could exceed 1,000 in
the city of close to one million residents.
Aburizal Bakrie, the welfare minister, later told the authorities to
prepare for the worst. He said damage could be on a par with an
earthquake in the central Java city of Yogyakarta in 2006 that killed
6,000 people and damaged or destroyed 150,000 homes.
Thousands of people were trapped as buildings, roads and bridges
collapsed and a landslide cut power and telecommunications, resulting in
The crisis was exacerbated by the collapse of the city's main hospital
and fires which broke out as power lines were severed. Three military
transport planes in the capital were prepared to deliver aid including
tents, blankets and medicine.
There were also fears the tremors could trigger volcanic eruptions near
Padang, which lies near the colliding Indo-Australian and Eurasian
A spokesman for the Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology
Centre said: "There will be aftershocks but it's difficult to predict
whether there will be a bigger quake.
"There are three big volcanoes in West Sumatra – Merapi, Talang and
Tandikat. We fear that this quake might cause volcanic eruptions there."
World Vision's Indonesian emergency head Jimmy Nadapdap said the charity
would attempt to send out a disaster survey team to the affected area
"It is critical that we get people into the quake zone as soon as
possible to find out what has happened," he said. "If buildings have
collapsed then people are likely to be in urgent need of food, water and
especially shelter. The injured will also need medical assistance."
A resident of Padang city, Yuliarni, said the shaking was "the worst I
have ever felt".
"Houses have collapsed, the lights and electricity were cut off, people
were fleeing to higher ground and some were hurt," she added.
Padang, the capital of Indonesia's West Sumatra province, sits on one of
the world's most active fault lines along the "Ring of Fire" where the
Into-Australia plate grinds against the Eurasia plate to create regular
Geologists warned that Padang was vulnerable to more quakes and
tsunamis, and even a volcanic eruption.
"There will be aftershocks but it's difficult to predict whether there
will be a bigger quake," the unnamed head of Indonesia's Geological
Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Centre said.
"There are three big volcanoes in West Sumatra – Merapi, Talang and
Tandikat. We fear that this quake might cause volcanic eruptions there."
A 9.15 magnitude quake, with its epicentre roughly 600km (373 miles)
northwest of Padang, caused the 2004 tsunami which killed 232,000 people
in Indonesia's Aceh province, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and other
countries across the Indian Ocean.
At Least 464 Die as Quake Hits Indonesia Island
Dita Alangkara/Associated Press
Residents walked through an area damaged
by the earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, on
HONG KONG — The Indonesian city of Padang was in chaos
on Thursday — fires burning, sirens blaring, dazed residents
wandering the streets, thousands of people reportedly trapped
beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings — after a powerful
earthquake struck the island of Sumatra.
Muhammad Fitrah/Singgalang Newspaper, via Reuters
A collapsed building in Padang, on
Indonesia's Sumatra island.
The quake, which hit Wednesday evening just off Padang
with a magnitude of 7.6, has killed at least 464 people,
according to a statement from the Social Affairs Ministry. The
death toll was almost certain to rise, officials said, as
rescuers dig into collapsed homes, hospitals, offices and a
On Thursday morning, just as the airport was reopening
and rescue teams were setting to their heavy, horrible work,
the city was rattled by another quake, this one registering
The epicenter was 140 miles southeast of the Padang
quake, according to the
United States Geological Survey. The Pacific Tsunami
Warning Center quickly issued a bulletin saying that the quake
had struck “too far inland to generate a destructive tsunami
in the Indian Ocean.”
Padang, a port city of 900,000, is on the west-central
coast of Sumatra,
Indonesia’s largest island. The western coast is stippled
with dozens of volcanoes, and Padang also sits alongside the
Sunda Trench, part of the notorious Ring of Fire, the volatile
network of volcanic arcs and oceanic trenches that partly
encircle the Pacific Basin. The ring — and Sumatra in
particular — is a zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic
Elsewhere in the basin, on Tuesday, an underwater
earthquake measuring 8.0 created a tsunami that sent massive
walls of water crashing into the islands of Samoa, American
Samoa and Tonga.
Reports from government officials, the police, aid
workers and news agencies showed Thursday that at least 154
people had been killed by the tsunami — 115 on Samoa, 30 on
American Samoa and 9 on Tonga.
The prime minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele, while
visiting one inundated village, witnessed the discovery of two
dead bodies — a mother and a 12-year-old boy.
“It was shocking,” he said in an interview with Radio
New Zealand. “The devastation that has been caused is
complete. All this was achieved in 10 minutes.”
There also were reports of 145 people injured, some of
them critically, and dozens of villages were demolished
throughout the islands. Many beachside resorts were wiped out,
along with homes, boats and businesses. Widespread devastation
also was seen on television footage from the American Samoan
capital, Pago Pago.
“It is the worst one we have had,” said Lilo Malava, the
police commissioner of Samoa, in a telephone interview.
The tsunami — described by the governor of American
Samoa as a series of four major waves — arrived with so little
warning that many residents and tourists were caught unawares.
Filipo Ilaoa, deputy director of the American Samoa
office in Honolulu, said that the tsunami struck the
territory’s coast in “a matter of minutes” after the quake and
that many residents would not have had much time to run for
“American Samoa is a small island, and most of the
residents are around the coastline,” he said. “There was no
warning or anything at all. By the time the alert was out of
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, it had already hit.”
New Zealand and Australia dispatched cargo flights and
observation planes to the Samoas. And President
Barack Obama authorized federal funds to supplement local
relief and recovery efforts on
American Samoa, a U.S. territory.
The epicenters of the Samoan and Indonesian quakes were
located about 6,000 miles apart but brought back vivid
memories of the horrific tsunami that ravaged South Asia and
Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004. Nearly a quarter-million
people across the Indian Ocean region were killed.
The undersea earthquake that caused the Samoan tsunami
and the Wednesday-evening quake in Indonesia, while from
similar causes, were not directly connected, according to
Julie Dutton, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake
Information Center in Golden, Colorado.
Both occurred in spots where one plate of the earth’s
crust is subducting, or sliding beneath another plate. In
spots, the two plates can become stuck until accumulating
pressure leads to a sudden heaving release of energy. Under
the sea, if the quake is around a magnitude of 8.0 or stronger
and the seabed shifts in a way that moves a lot of water, the
result is the high-energy waves of a tsunami.
The deeper the epicenter under the seabed, the less
potential there is for a tsunami. In Sumatra, the depth of the
epicenter was 49.7 miles, according to the United States
Geological Survey. In Samoa, it was just 11.2 miles below the
seabed. For coastal areas close to the epicenter of a strong
undersea earthquake, there is also little time for a formal
tsunami warning to be sounded, Ms. Dutton said.
The United States was concentrating its rescue efforts
on American Samoa, sending two cargo planes from Honolulu to
the area on Wednesday, said Craig Fugate, administrator of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We’re looking at both an airlift and a sealift,” Mr.
Fugate told reporters in a conference call. “This will not be
a short-term response.”
Mr. Fugate said that it was clear the tsunami had caused
a “major disaster” but that it was too early for his office to
provide or confirm estimates of deaths, injuries or property
In Sumatra on Wednesday, officials feared the death toll
was likely to rise. Priyadi Kardono, a spokesman for the
National Disaster Management Agency, said Thursday that at
least 200 people had died.
Powerful Quakes Upend Lives of Thousands
Landslides Trap Scores in
Indonesia; Tsunami Unleashes Havoc in the Samoas
Tsunami Strikes Pacific Islands
A tsunami triggered by an earthquake in the Pacific
Ocean near the island of Samoa sent people fleeing to
higher ground to escape rapidly rising waters. About 100
people were killed and dozens remain missing after the
massive waves landed.
From News Services
Thursday, October 1, 2009
of people on Wednesday grappled with the devastation caused by
two powerful earthquakes, with landslides leaving scores
trapped in rubble in Indonesia and a tsunami in the Samoas
flattening villages and sweeping some residents out to sea.
Officials in Indonesia reported finding 200 bodies and said
the toll was likely to be much higher, while at least 119
people were killed in the Samoan region.
The Indonesia quake, with a magnitude of 7.6, hit at 5:15
p.m. local time Wednesday. It knocked down buildings,
started fires, destroyed roads, and cut off power and
communications to Padang, a coastal city of 900,000 on
Sumatra island. Buildings swayed hundreds of miles away in
neighboring Malaysia and Singapore.
In sprawling, low-lying Padang, the shaking was so
intense that people crouched or sat on the street to avoid
falling. Children screamed as thousands of people tried to
get away from the coast in cars and on motorbikes, honking
The quake occurred a day after a killer tsunami hit
islands in the South Pacific. It was along the same fault
line that spawned the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed
230,000 people in 11 nations.
In Samoa, the tsunami was caused by a magnitude-8.0 quake
that unleashed four waves 15 to 20 feet high. They roared
ashore within minutes of the temblor, which hit at 6:48 a.m.
local time Tuesday, and spread a mile inland authorities
On Tuesday evening, President Obama issued a major
disaster declaration for American Samoa, which is about 120
miles from the quake's epicenter, and the first U.S. relief
flight arrived Wednesday in the island's capital, Pago Pago,
where debris had to be cleared from the runway.
The C-130 cargo flight out of Hawaii carried supplies and
emergency officials, and it was to be followed Wednesday by
a Navy frigate and a second plane carrying food, water,
medicine, and medical supplies and personnel, said W. Craig
Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management
"Our focus is on life safety, life sustainment and
getting resources in there to support the governor and his
team," Fugate said in a telephone briefing with reporters,
referring to Gov. Togiola Tulafono. "Our focus is on the
immediate needs of the injured and the thousands, tens of
thousands of survivors down there," he added.
Time and distance will constrain the U.S. response.
American Samoa is roughly 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii
and 4,500 miles from the west coast of the United States, he
U.S. officials said they expect to provide relief
materials for weeks by sea as well as more urgent materials
by air. "This will not be a short-term response based on
reports of damage," Fugate said.
In Pago Pago, the streets and fields were filled with
debris, mud, overturned cars and several boats as a major
cleanup effort stretched into the night. Several buildings
in the city -- just a few feet above sea level -- were
flattened. Power was expected to be out in some areas for up
to a month.
Water service has been restored to many villages, but
power is still out in most areas. More than 1,000 people
spent the night in 15 emergency shelters.
After the earthquake in Indonesia on Wednesday, a tsunami
warning was issued for countries along the Indian Ocean, but
it proved unnecessary. There were no reports of giant waves
in western Indonesia, but the destruction was vast. Early
Thursday, a shallow inland earthquake struck, with a
preliminary magnitude of 6.8, the U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday's earthquake flattened buildings and felled
trees in Padang, damaged mosques and hotels, and crushed
cars. In the gathering darkness shortly after the quake,
residents fought some fires with buckets of water and used
their bare hands to search for survivors, pulling at the
wreckage and tossing it away piece by piece.
"This is a high-scale disaster, more powerful than the
earthquake in Yogyakarta in 2006, when more than 3,000
people died," Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said,
referring to a major city on the main Indonesian island of
Staff writer Spencer S. Hsu in Washington contributed
to this report.
Sumatra quake 'leveled
Thousands of people may have
died in remote village areas when a powerful
earthquake struck Sumatra last week, emergency
workers and officials fear.
Some villages were completely destroyed in
landslides, with access roads torn apart by the
quake preventing medical teams reaching the
Aid is now arriving in Indonesia, but hopes
are fading of finding survivors in the worst-hit
city of Padang.
More than 1,000 people have died in the
city. About 3,000 others are missing.
Australian, British, Japanese and South
Korean rescuers have arrived in Indonesia and the
EU and Russia are also sending help.
But while rescue efforts are still
concentrated in Padang, there are serious concerns
that it may be too late to save most of those
missing, presumed trapped beneath the city's
collapsed concrete buildings.
Instead the focus is shifting to emerging
stories of widespread destruction in areas outside
At least 600 people are believed to be
missing in villages north of Padang.
"All the houses seem to have been swallowed
by earth," a health ministry official in the
village of Pulau Aik told the Associated Press.
Villagers contacted by reporters told of
hundreds of people missing in each settlement.
"In my village, 75 people were buried. There
are about 300 people missing from this whole area.
We need tents and excavators to get the bodies but
the roads are cut off," one villager, Ogi
Martapela, told Reuters.
One Red Cross worker, Testos, told Reuters
his team needed medicines, drinking water and
clothes to take to those left homeless by the
But access to these areas remains difficult,
and few details are known yet of the extent of the
destruction or the loss of life.
Local TV stations have begun to reach some
of the affected areas, broadcasting images of
villages reduced to rubble and tales of villagers
without access to clean water.
"We have not received a thing. We need food,
clothes, blankets, milk. It seems like the
government has forgotten about us," Reuters quoted
one woman, Siti Armaini, as saying in Pariaman,
40km (25 miles) north of Padang.
In Padang, witnesses report that the stench
of decomposing bodies now hangs over collapsed
buildings as rescuers battle to reach survivors.
WEST SUMATRA QUAKES
First quake struck on Wednesday at 1716
local (1016 GMT) under sea north-west of
Second quake followed on Thursday at
At the collapsed wreckage of a hotel,
rescuers worked frantically on Saturday to find
any of eight people thought to have survived
One person trapped in the ruins of the
Ambacang Hotel sent a text message to a relative
on Friday asking for help, rescuers revealed.
Those trapped were believed to be on what
was the 6th floor. But by mid-afternoon in Padang
none of the eight had been located.
The head of a Japanese search and rescue
team said his men and dogs had found "no signs of
"Our dogs are trained to smell for living
people, not the dead, and they didn't sense
anything," Hidehiro Murase told AP.
Specialist teams from around the world have
begun arriving at co-ordination centres in Padang,
waiting to be deployed to the field.
The Red Cross planned to hold a meeting in
the city on Saturday to co-ordinate relief
The priority is to ensure injured survivors
receive the medical attention they needed, Red
Cross officials say.
Two Australian planes carrying medical
personnel and rescue experts have arrived in
Padang, with dozens of British firefighters -
delayed for 24 hours by a broken-down plane - due
to join a 16-man charity deployment late on
As well as the Japanese, a Swiss sniffer-dog
team is already on the ground, and Russian and
Estonian personnel have all been sent. Countries
around the world have pledged relief funds.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono has also called for $10m (£6.2m) in
government aid to be distributed quickly.
"The... fund has to flow quickly, no more
bureaucracy for this," he said. "This is an
emergency, so speed is crucial."
Wednesday's 7.6-magnitude quake struck off
the coast of Padang and caused devastation. A
second quake of 6.8 struck nearby on Thursday
causing panic but no reports of damage or
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Chance of Finding Sumatra
Earthquake Survivors Is
By Soraya Permatasari
Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Three
days after an earthquake
devastated the Indonesian town
Padang on Sumatra’s west
coast, the chance of finding
any survivors is “almost
zero,” the national search and
rescue agency said.
“Life detectors, which
detect heartbeat, have shown
there isn’t anyone alive
underneath the rubble of most
high-rise buildings in
Padang,” Gagah Prakoso,
spokesman for the
Indonesian Search and Rescue
Agency, said today at an
operation center in the city.
“We have used detectors, dogs,
even bare hands, every means
possible to search for any
survivors, but I have to say
that the chance is almost zero
The death toll from the
7.6-magitude temblor that
leveled homes, mosques and
hotels in the coastal city of
about 800,000 was 496 people
as of today, Priyadi Kardono,
a spokesman at the
National Disaster Management
Agency in Jakarta, said by
phone. “Many thousands more”
are trapped under crushed
buildings, the United Nations
said in a
statement on its Web site.
Governments around the
world have provided money and
other aid such as medicine,
tents, food and search teams
with sniffer dogs. Still,
time, weather and the number
of destroyed buildings ensure
the death toll will rise
“Realistically it is very,
very difficult for anyone to
still be alive after being
trapped without water and food
under the rubble for so long,”
There were 125 people,
including guests and
participants in two seminars,
staying at the 140-room
Ambacang hotel when it was
destroyed in the earthquake,
Sarana Aji, the hotel’s
general manager, said in an
interview in Padang. Teams
have recovered 29 bodies from
the hotel, he said. One
survivor was rescued
yesterday, he said.
The smell of decomposing
bodies was strong near what
used to be the swimming pool
on the Ambacang’s second
floor, now lying shattered on
the ground. Five excavating
machines moved chunks of
broken concrete and steel
reinforcing bar that used to
form the floors and walls of
the destroyed building.
“I urge everyone to accept
the possibility that the
trapped victims may not
survive,” Aji said. “Our focus
remains to find survivors,
though the chance is getting
Elsewhere in Padang, stores
and small restaurants began to
resume operations, providing
much needed service in the
devastated town that has been
paralyzed for the past three
days. Some hotels and
hospitals were running on
electricity provided by their
own generators, as power in
the city was still
unavailable. Long queues
formed at filling stations as
people hoped to obtain scarce
‘The Earth Shook Violently’
Nursim Salam, 55, a teacher
at LBA Lia school in Padang,
was trapped underneath the
collapsed school for three
“The earth shook
violently,” Salam said in an
interview. “I quickly told my
students to run out of the
building when pieces of brick
walls started to crumble, but
it was too late. There was a
loud noise, then the roof
collapsed. Everything was dark
and it was difficult to
Salam and four students
were on the second floor of
the school when the building
“We had to crawl from one
empty space to another,” Salam
said. “Hours later I saw a
blinking light coming from the
other side so I made my way
there and saw someone holding
a cell phone. It was a student
from another class. With the
help from the cell-phone
light, we made our way down
slowly to the lobby because we
were on the second floor, but
after everything collapsed we
were on the ground.”
“Eventually we heard some
people outside and screamed
for help. They gave us drinks
and a bit of food and stayed
with us until we were rescued
about one hour later. My
throat feels so dry, even now
I have to keep drinking or it
gets very dry. It could be the
Doctors trying to treat
hundreds of injured survivors
are running out of medicine,
and damage to hospitals has
left them without sufficient
space to operate.
At the M Jamil Hospital,
the biggest public hospital in
Padang, doctors are
overwhelmed by critically
injured people and the bodies
of those who didn’t survive.
“These bodies are not so
easy to identify because they
aren’t complete,” Asril
Zahari, 57, the hospital’s
head medical coordinator, said
yesterday. “We received 92 of
them in total. Most of them
were claimed by their families
already except for these 10.
They are from the Ambacang
hotel and Aldira Motor,” he
said, referring to an auto
showroom in the town.
“We treated 250 patients
and operated on 120 of them,”
Zahari said. “Many of them
suffered from broken bones and
head injuries. Initially we
had enough supplies but there
are just too many patients. We
are running out of injection
liquid, antibiotics, saline
drips. Thank God, though, so
far I can say that most
patients have received
Zahari, who lost an uncle
in the quake, said his family
is sleeping in the backyard at
night because their home
The European Commission has
provided 3 million euros, EC
Jose Manuel Durao Barroso
said in a press statement. The
U.S. has provided $300,000 in
assistance to Indonesia and
set aside an additional $3
million to be used once needs
are assessed. The U.S. is also
sending a disaster-response
It’s the second earthquake
to cause fatalities in
Indonesia in less than a month
after a magnitude-7 temblor
south of Java on Sept. 2 left
82 people dead.
tsunami generated by a
magnitude-9.1 earthquake off
northern Sumatra in December
2004 left about 220,000 people
dead or missing in 12
countries around the Indian
To contact the reporters on
Soraya Permatasari at
Last Updated: October 3,
2009 03:13 EDT
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