Residents of Padang Indonesia awoke to awe inspiring horror this morning after last night’s 7.6 earthquake flattened hundreds of buildings burying thousands of people in rubble. Meantime heavy quakes continue and no one can tell how many dead there are.
“I just had to run out of the house because of another big quake … ” said Jordan Hauer whose small rented house in Padang lost one whole side in the major shakedown that happened a full 16 hours earlier. “There’s no power in the city. I’m running a generator,” he told me. Amazingly, the phone lines in his part of the city are still working so were able to talk on Skype. “I just turned the news on and their pulling people from out of the rubble all over the city. There’s thousands of people trapped under buildings.”
According to Jordan, word is that most of the hotels in the city are either flattened or seriously damaged. “I heard there’s a bunch of westerners trapped under one of them. I’m not sure if they’re surfers, but they probably are because that’s who’s staying here at this time of year.”
Jordan is a partner in Kandui Resort in the Mentawai Islands. It is the world’s most insanely set-up surf retreat, both because of the number of shockingly good waves that surround it, and because of it’s position on planet Earth’s most unstable seismic zone. The quake actually occured 106km north of the Mentawais but the resort at Kandui was completely undamaged – “shaken but not stirred,” was the word. “Guests were relaxing and drinking in the bar when it happened. Everyone ran outside, which is the procedure we have for these events, and then it was over real quick. No one hurt, no damage to the buildings,” said Jordan.
Meanwhile Jordan, his wife Aii and their small children, were staying in their rented house on the mainland in Padang. “We just ran outside as soon as it happened. It was around 5pm. If it had been 5am we probably wouldn’t be here.” He’s not joking. While we were Skyping, Jordan picked up his laptop and showed me, via his webcam, the side of his house – missing. One whole wall was gone, the Padang morning clearly visible from the kitchen. And in the foreground, mid way across the kitchen floor, a giant lump of concrete rubble.
“This thing came flying in during the quake – OVER the glass table in the middle of the room.”
I snapped a Grab image of his kitchen floor. The line went down. Jordan came back five minutes later. Another quake had sent them running again. “I’ve just put my last litre of gas in the generator. I think I’m going to try and get my family out of here. There’s going to be food shortages again. It’s bad over here. Real bad.
We’ll endeavor to keep adding updates on this and the Samoa tsunami story as we get themAlex Dick-Read, Sept 30th 10.20 EST