Reports coming in from Indonesia’s Aceh province show evidence of the massive damage to the Lafarge Andalas plant on the west coast of Sumatera, less than 100km from the epicentre of the sub-sea earthquake.
An aerial view of the factory site (just published in Indonesia’s Kompas newspaper) and housing complex confirms what we had been told that the worker housing, harbour buildings, oil tanks, packing plant, power station and offices were destroyed, but the silos, mills and kiln are still standing.
We understand only three families of the 25 at the housing estate survived and few of the shift
personnel. Lhoknga and Leupung villages nearby where many of the employees live, have been totally destroyed.
Those of you who knew Hugh Crawford, an engineer from Blue Circle who bought some land by the sea near the factory when he retired will be relieved to know he is safe and well although clearly shocked by his ordeal.
He was home when the earthquake struck, but managed to get to higher ground before the first
waves came. He camped out with his wife for two days and then made his way to Banda Aceh and finally Medan yesterday after spending a further two days at the airport trying to get on a plane.
He also confirmed what we had seen on TV, that aid is getting to the airport but not yet to the people. Fortunately the Lafarge crisis team is now in Banda Aceh and they have already evacuated many of the employees and their families to Medan.