Regular readers will know that I travelled to the Mentawais back in April of this year. So when news of the tsunami struck, I was more than usually worried about the fate of the folk out there.
The guys at the Pitstop surf camp had been wonderful hosts, and we all had an amazing time in these beautiful, and remote, islands. Feeling kind of helpless over here in Devon, I sent the guys a quick email to let them know we were thinking of them, and to ask if there was anything we could do. Thankfully, I got a reply, and turns out they’re all ok, but they are definitely the lucky ones:
“We are OK out here on the island, but all reports say Padang has been devastated. The quake was huge here yesterday arvo. I was having trouble standing up and keeping my balance. I grabbed the TV so it wouldn’t fall off then thought ‘fuck it’ and yelled for everyone to run outside. I thought the glass windows and doors were going to shatter.
There’s minor damage here but Padang is an absolute mess. People buried alive and trapped in rubble. The big hotels have collapsed, along with a couple of hundred other buildings. Fires, no power and no water. Nightmare. Only one road out of Padang is open too.
We have heard from half our friends that they are alive, but still waiting to hear from many more. It’s heavy man. Our crew in Padang are ok.
Phew… Oh yeah, and we’ve been battered by gnarly storms for a week now.
But we can’t complain. We’re safe and comfy out here on the island. Just laying low and going to start rationing food and fuel because it seems like there ae going to be severe shortages for the next few weeks (ie: we might not get any more).”
If you want to do something to help, make a donation via SurfAid’s Padang Earthquake Appeal.