Isle prayers sent out for victims of temblor


POSTED: Thursday, October 01, 2009

Indonesians in Hawaii were somber yesterday following reports of an earthquake that killed hundreds in West Sumatra province.

Andi Yani, a 32-year-old Indonesian student at the University of Hawaii, met with other Indonesian students last night to pray for the more than 450 victims.

After he returned home, he learned about a second magnitude-6.8 quake that hit Sumatra less than 24 hours later.

“;We're just awaiting the news from Indonesia about the victims in the last earthquake in Jambi,”; he said last night of the Sumatran town.

The first quake, of magnitude 7.6, in Sumatra reportedly could be felt as far away as Malaysia.

Rohayati Paseng, Southeast Asia librarian at the University of Hawaii, said she's been communicating with a friend in Indonesia through Facebook and talking with her father in Pekanbaru, on the eastern boarder of Sumatra.

She was following reports of the tsunami in Samoa and the flooding in the Philippines when news broke of the earthquakes in Indonesia.

“;It's just too much,”; she said. “;The roads are being completely stopped, meaning that there's going to be a lot of food shortage in different parts of Sumatra.”;

Erenst Anip, president of the Indonesian Club at UH-Manoa, said they are planning a prayer vigil.

“;We're pretty down and sad, of course,”; he said. “;It was like two weeks ago there was a big earthquake in Jakarta. We're kind of used to it by now, but this one was kind of big.”;

Ade Irma, an Indonesian student at an Islamic institute studying at UH, said most of those in West Sumatra are Muslim.

She said she believed the Indonesian government was responding quickly by sending doctors and volunteers to stricken areas.