Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 11:37 UK

'We really need help'

People in Padang, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, describe the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that struck the city on Wednesday, and the urgent search for survivors buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings.


There are many people trapped in buildings. There are three schools with children trapped inside - apparently hundreds. The main market completely collapsed and crushed many people and then burned through the night. A lot of people died in there.

The mayor seems to be trying to lead the charge. I saw two excavators but they don't really know how to use them. We need lifting equipment because you can't get in from underneath. We're still having aftershocks and things are still moving and so many buildings are sagged over with their sides bulging that they look like they're going to go any minute.

Speaking to the BBC World Service


We are overwhelmed with victims and... lack of clean water, electricity and telecommunications... We really need help. We call on people to come to Padang to evacuate bodies and help the injured.

Speaking to Indonesian radio station el-Shinta


Most of the buildings in central Padang are flattened. Many people are still trapped under the rubbles. I went to Hotel Ambacang and they still trying to get around 80 people out of the destroyed building. Another 25 are still trapped under a car showroom that's also flattened.

Speaking to the BBC Indonesian Service


Most of the damage is in the main town centre and it's the multi-storey buildings or the commercial buildings. It was about five o'clock [PM] so lots of people were in those buildings at the time.

One of the hospitals is completely destroyed. They are trying to operate in the parking lot, in a tent, in the mud, and I saw them trying to repair somebody's brachial artery. It was a very bad situation in that one hospital. I went to another hospital and they were partially functional. They were getting a good tent set up on asphalt and they had access to their medications. However, they're still struggling... I've seen some heavy equipment out there but I don't think the operators are proficient in terms of extricating trapped people.

Speaking to the BBC World Service


There's heavy rain in Padang at the moment, and it's pitch dark because there's no electricity. There's a possibility that the whole of West Sumatra has no electricity because the main power plant is down. But people are staying outside in the open. They are soaking wet but they are worried that there will be aftershocks. The front part of the main hospital is damaged. So is the main shopping centre. A lot of other buildings have collapsed.

Speaking to the BBC Indonesian Service


My daughter's face keeps appearing in my eyes... my mind. I cannot sleep, I'm waiting here to see her again... She is a good daughter and very smart. I really love her. Please God help her. I hope rescuers, everybody... can help her out of here. Please!

Speaking to Indonesia's TVOne

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