I have heard that the Dippo Hotel, where Chris, Jon Hare and I stayed on our 2003 and 2004 expeditions, and of which I was very fond, has been destroyed.
Thankfully Sahar and his family, and Dally and the other guides are all safe as they were well out of the area. Dally is on Facebook and I spoke to him last night. The death toll has now reached 529. Padang is not a well-built city so I can well imagine how much of it must have been flattened.
As Padang is a Mecca for surfers, a charity called Surfaid is raising money for earthquake relief. You can donate here: