Four days into the aftermath of the earthquake in Indonesia and only bodies are now being found in Padang’s wrecked buildings. Hope is fading fast that any other survivors will be found.
Thousands may still be trapped under the rubble, and rescuers are still combing the ruins of the Dutch colonial Ambacang hotel, from where a text message was received on Friday saying eight people were still alive. Voices could be heard yesterday. Today all was quiet. The Indonesian government says it does not need any more rescue teams. What it needs now is money and reconstruction. That is going to be quite a job. As teams move into the interior of Sumatra they are discovering the full extent of the disaster. Whole villages have been buried under mud, and so many roads have been destroyed it is making any operation difficult. Remote areas have still not received assistance of any kind, and it seems certain that the final death toll will be in the thousands.