I was in Padang in West Sumatra in January this year so it's sad to read about the destruction wreaked by the powerful earthquake. The death toll will rise to the thousands when things are clearer. Many large buildings were destroyed, including the hospital. Part of the airport's roof was damaged. The 3-star opposite the hotel I stayed in has suffered extensive damage. Every time I walked past this hotel I'd cast admiring glances at it.
Being the capital of west Sumatra, Padang is a pleasant and clean city. I found the people friendly. I recall an ex-teacher who came out of a school on her motor-bike, and offered me some "kripik" (Indonesian cassave chips, eaten as snacks).
Then there were the Indonesian Chinese from a clan association who invited me in for a chat.
I've blogged about my Padang trip. See earlier posts in April.
Pray that the people of Padang will be able to find the strength to recover from this terrible destruction. Pray that international help will be speedy to lessen the suffering.