1. On Wed, Padang, a 900 000 population town on the Western coast of Sumatra, was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. An after-shock hit it again this morning, 140 miles from the epic-centre of the one on Wed, 6.6 in magnitude. Close to 500 people were reported to have died and the casualty figures are expected to go up. Pictures show that damages to the town was very substantial. Recovery operation will be urgently required and will take time. We expect the traffic situation will be heavy and difficult in Sumatra as urgent supplies and recovery operations are rushed to the area to bring life back to normal, including the ferry crossing between Sumatra and Java.
2. Our current plan calls for our car to be shipped this weekend and for the journey to begin from Medan 12 Oct. If we stick to this plan, we are likely to run into difficult traffic situation later in the month.
3. With this in mind, Yeow Pheng and I decided to change plan and reverse the order of our trip. Rather than ending in Brunei, we will now begin in Brunei. From Brunei, we will go on to see Sabah, Sarawak before crossing at Entikong into Kalimantan, Indonesia, and then to Sulawesi, etc etc, details of which would to be reworked some what. By Dec, if situation permits, we can still go on to Sumatra and finish the journey in Medan. If not, we may have to return from Java.