Thousands of Indonesians were still buried under debris, days after a strong quake hit Indonesia’s port city of Padang.
In most places, rescue teams only found bodies as they comb through collapsed buildings, but under the ruins of a hotel, on the 6th floor, eight people were believed to still be alive. Army Officer Arkamelvi Karmani said: “A text was received at about 3 o’clock yesterday. We think there are eight people trapped in there. The text said: Please don’t make the heavy equipment go further. It will crush us.” Rescuers were building a tunnel into the rubble to try to reach them. Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla while visiting a badly hit town in Sumatra expressed pessimism about finding more survivors alive trapped under rubble. The huge international aid effort has gained momentum. Rescue teams, many wearing masks to cover the stench of bodies in the tropical heat, are starting to fan out from Padang to some of the worst hit surrounding areas. Fresh supplies were being flown in and shipped in.