CQ girl discovered safe

DESPITE being close to 300km away from the earthquake disaster zone of Sumatra, Amanda Fernie walked outside to see the window of a building shaking.

The former Blackwater resident didn't think anything of it until The Morning Bulletin called and told her about the natural disaster which she was oblivious to on Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile her mum Joy in Blackwater, who hasn't been able to get a hold of her daughter since the quake hit on Wednesday, had been having nightmares after hearing about the disaster on the news.

The worried mother, who works at Blackwater Real Estate, was relieved when she received a text message and two calls from a member of VIDA to tell her “everything is fine and Amanda is okay.”

“There have been a few tears, and not being able to speak to her on the phone has been a bit scary,” Joy said.

Amanda, who is a primatologist, arrived in the Bukit Tigapuluh Forest to work with the Australian Orangutan Project and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project with VIDA last month.

The 25-year-old, who went to Blackwater State High School, is working as an orangutan development and training specialist at an orangutan rehabilitation and reintroduction site for the next two years.

She will monitor the progress of around 110 orangutans in rehabilitation before they are released back into the forest.

Amanda said they had no internet access and limited phone coverage where she is living and when she heard about the two earthquakes that have killed more than 1100 people, she told The Morning Bulletin to let her family know she is okay.

“I had no idea about the devastation,” she said.

In the city of Padang which was devastated by Wednesday's 7.6-magnitude quake, the smell emanating from collapsed buildings posed health risks and indicated the official death toll could soar far higher.

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