Amateur video filmed on Wednesday after the earthquake struck Indonesia shows the victims’ terror and some of the damage sustained.
The United Nations estimates at least 1,100 people have been killed in and around the city of Padang. It fears thousands more are still trapped under the debris. Rescuers continue digging through the rubble. Sometimes their efforts were crowned by success. But as time goes on, hope wears dim for others still buried under the twisted concrete and broken wooden beams. Rescue efforts are hampered by power blackouts and a lack of heavy moving equipment. The International Red Cross says the city of Padang was badly hit but outside in rural areas, the situation is just as grave. It believes entire farming villages to the west of Jakarta could have been wiped out. The epicentre of the earthquake was the port city of Padang. However the force of the tremor, at magnitude 7.6, was felt in neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore. Body bags and an outdoor morgue bear testimony to the urgency of Indonesia’s call for more international aid. The first to respond have been the US, EU, Australia, Japan and China, among others, providing money, transport, personnel, and supplies. But as the death toll mounts, the questions begin as to why more deaths were not prevented. It remains to be seen why in a high-tech age, those closest to the disaster scene are not being warned in time.