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Far Away But in Our Prayers

September 30, 2009 Earthquake in West Sumatra Takes Massive Toll on Life and Property. Bali Far Removed from Epicenter and Destruction.

(10/5/2009) A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck just 60 kilometers off the coast of the West Sumatran capital of Padang late on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 30, 2009. The quake's close proximity to Padang, a port city of 900,000 people, caused massive physical destruction and loss of life.

The death toll has now officially passed the 1,000 mark with as many as 3,000 people and, in some cases, entire isolated villages, remaining unaccounted for. One area, only a short distance from Padang, saw an entire hillside collapse, creating a bulldozed construction-site landscape where once was a green jungle-side community. Hospitals, offices, schools and homes were severely damaged with one estimate saying 70% of hotel rooms in Padang have been destroyed. At least one major hjotel ciollapse trapping and killing many guests and workers inside the building.

Indonesia's and the world's response to the disaster was immediate. International rescue teams flew into the affect areas with relief supplies, rescue teams and badly needed rescue dogs.

The National Disaster Management Agency estimates 83,712 homes, 200 public buildings and 285 schools have been destroyed. Over 100,000 more building suffered significant damage, at least five bridges have collapsed and many miles of local roads are destroyed.

Assisting with relief efforts has been the very open and accepting attitude of local and national officials to both domestic and international groups offering assistance.

Bali Physically Unaffected

Indonesia is a nation of tremendous breadth. The time to fly from one end of the country to the other is more than the time required to fly from Los Angeles to New York City. While the considerable size of the archipelago is lost on many people unfamiliar with Indonesia, a massive disaster in any corner of the Country leaves most areas of a nation comprised of more than 17,600 islands unscathed. People in Bali, like most parts of Indonesia, did not feel the Sumatran quake, but were no less shaken by the tragic developments unfolding on the national and international news media. And, like their fellow Indonesians, the people of Bali responded to relief appeals organized by the government, places of worship, the media, non-governmental agencies and banks providing an instant transfer facility for anyone using an ATM.

Balidiscovery.com joins the island of Bali in extending its condolences, prayer and materials support to the people of West Sumatra.

Those wishing to help alleviate the suffering of the people of West Sumatra can send donations to:

Palang Merah Indonesia The Indonesian Red Cross

BCA KCU Thamrin

Account Number: 206.300668.8,

Account Name: Kantor Pusat PMI.

OR

Bank Mandiri KCU Jakarta Krakatau Steel

Account Number 070-00-0011601-7,

Account Name: Palang Merah Indonesia.