Locals may be in Indo quake area

CONCERNS are held for two local men believed to be in the Padang region of Sumatra which was devastated by an earthquake on Wednesday.

One man was working on a boat used to ferry surfers from Padang to surfing spots on the Mentawais Islands.

Read more about the quake in Indonesia.

The man's friend, president of the Byron Bay Boardriders Club Bryce Cameron, said he sent an email to the captain of the ship on which the man, who he declined to name, worked but was yet to get a response.

Mr Cameron, who visited Padang on surfing trips in 2000 and 2005, said it was a low-lying coastal village.

“Surfers fly in to Padang and that's where the yachts to Mentawais leave from,” he said.

Mr Cameron's concerns were echoed by chief executive of Surfing Australia, Andrew Stark, who told the media there would 'absolutely be Aussies caught up in the impact'.

Surfing Australia's media director Steve Robertson said the Mentawais Islands were considered to be the most exotic surfing location in the world.

Surfers tended to spend only one night in Padang before departing for the islands, he said.

The peak season for surfing in the Mentawais Islands was coming to an end.

A second Byron Bay surfer was also understood to be in the Padang region during the disaster.

Wednesday afternoon's 7.6-magnitude earthquake caused buildings to crumble and fires to rage in Padang, home to nearly a million people, which was left largely without power and communications.

Another quake measuring 6.5 hit at 11.52am (AEST) yesterday off southern Sumatra.

At least 464 people have been killed in the Padang quake and thousands more are trapped underneath rubble.

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