News is just coming in of another earthquake off West Sumatra less than an hour ago. The TV reports are coming from Medan, way further up north where friends and family live. But we have yet to hear from Padang, the town most likely to have suffered severe damage in the 7.6 force quake.
A tsunami alert was later withdrawn. (Our thoughts go to those in the two Samoas who have lost loved ones in a tsunami generated by a 8.0-magnitude quake yesterday.)
"Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road. There are some fires, bridges are cut and there is extreme panic here," said a Reuters witness in the city, who also said broken water pipes had triggered flooding.
His mobile phone was then cut off and officials said power had been severed in the city. A resident called Adi later told Indonesia's Metro Television there was devastation around him.
"For now I can't see dead bodies, just collapsed houses. Some half destroyed, others completely. People are standing around too scared to go back inside. They fear a tsunami," said Adi.
"No help has arrived yet. I can see small children standing around carrying blankets. Some people are looking for relatives but all the lights have gone out completely."
Online news agency Detik.com said a hospital and a large market had also been damaged in the city.