It is very difficult to express how I felt when I read, heard and watched the news on the media about the earthquake that hit the Provinces of West Sumatera and Jambi.
The first earthquake hit Wednesday 30 September at 5.16 PM with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter Scale hit the Province of West Sumatera.
According to the Meteorology, Climatology & Geophysical Agency (BMKG), epicentrum of the earthquake was located 71 kilometer below sea level around 57 Kilometer from the town of Pariaman, West Sumatera. The effect of the earthquake was felt in places as far away as Jakarta, Singapore and Malaysia.
Thousands of houses/offices/schools and public utility buildings in the towns of Pariaman and Padang were badly damaged. Almost 500 people died and many more people injured. Many people are estimated to have been trapped under building wreckages. Beside that, the earthquake also cause landslides, isolating certain area and making it very difficult to go to the area.
Further, on Thursday at 8.56 am, another earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter Scale hit the Province of Jambi on the Southern part of the Island of Sumatera. The epicentrum of the earthquake is located 10 kilometer below sea level around 46 kilometer from Sungaipeneh region.
For detailed media reports on the above, please click here, here, here, here and here.
In connection with the earthquakes, the central & provincial government together with private entrepreneurs have made rescue efforts. President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono accompanied by several ministers visited Padang on Thursday afternoon and stay for a night there to coordinate the rescue efforts. Further, other provinces like North Sumatera and Aceh shall send their rescue teams.
Considering that Indonesia have been experiencing a series of devastating earthquakes in the last five years i.e in Garut, Tasikmalaya, Yogyakarta, Bengkulu and Aceh, I hope that the rescue and recovery efforts can be carried out efficiently and effectively.
Last but not least I would like to express my deepest condolence and symphaty to the victims of earthquake.