Batik, Wayang Kulit (Shadow puppets), Bali, Java, Art of Batik, Temples, Hindus, Borobudur, Prambanan, Lombok,
Yogyakarta, Sumatra, Indonesian girls, Indonesian People, News from Indonesia
News & Archives: Tsunami of December 2004
News & Archives
EARTHQUAKE OF PADANG SEPTEMBER 30th, 2009:
Updated News Click Here >
A clock stopped at the hour on Sunday that the tsunami struck the town of Banda Aceh in Indonesia. December 26th, 2004.
There is this shout that still keeps ringing in my ears: "Run!! The water's coming!!"
Sunday morning began hotter than usual -- the sun was really bright at just 7:50 a.m. At home I was enjoying coffee and reading the local daily Serambi Indonesia. Sunday is when young people head for Ulee Lhee beach, only five kilometers from the town. After swimming they would usually have a picnic on the beach with food from home.
Suddenly my newspaper shook in my hands, and the shaking became increasingly stronger. I ran out of the house with my two younger siblings -- along with neighbors. We shouted His name -- La illaha illallah (There is no God but Allah). The quake got stronger and we clutched on to one another. Water in the gutters shook and spilled over.
The shouts grew louder amid the sound of a tree cracking, ready to crash. Neighbors hugged one another, some crying. This lasted for several minutes. It left cracked walls and pale faces. No one went into their homes. We live about six kilometers from the beach.
Desolated women after the quake
Half an hour later another quake occurred and everyone was hysterical, though it was of a lesser strength. I felt very worried. Quakes are common in Aceh, but not like the first.
"Run!! The water is coming!!"
People were moving in all sorts of vehicles heading out of town. Everyone was carrying a bundle of clothing or rice. Screams and crying infants filled the air.
I ventured out at 11 a.m.; God, the whole town, every corner, was a devastating ruin. I learnt later of the wave, the tsunami that must have hit the entire town of Banda Aceh, because there was no water left -- just black, knee-high, mud.
Only then did I realize this was really serious. There were more and more bodies, likely killed in the wave, not the earthquake. Further away in the nearby area of Peuniti, hundreds of corpses were lined up along the road near the Krueng Aceh river.
It was all chaos. Everyone was in a state of panic. Aceh's capital had been entirely destroyed, with dozens of bodies lying around the front of Baitur Rahman mosque, the town's landmark and the pride of its townspeople. Fishing boats had suddenly emerged, stranded in the middle of the town brought in by the wave -- while dozens of vehicles were wrecked.
In just a few minutes thousands had lost their families. This must be what Judgment Day looks like, with hysterical screams and thousands of people looking for their loved ones, everywhere.
I was absolutely sure that these bodies included the youth who would have been playing by the beach, fishermen, residents living up to at least two kilometers away from the coast, passengers of speedboats heading for the tourist destination of Weh island -- and I shivered at the thought.
One survivor said the wall of water coming out of the sea toward him reached up to 25 meters. He said he hugged a pillar of his house. The rest of it was gobbled up by the wave. He still has his wife, but lost his grandmother. Another local had escaped with his family in a car, only to get trapped in the giant wave. He lost his wife and two children.
Back home, we spent the night in the dark, in the terror of more tremors and the waves. Once every hour a tremor reoccurred and we ran outside.
The rest has been told. Until now we are always listening, always on the alert. For we fear we may not save ourselves if we don't hear the signals that we must watch out for.
PREVIOUS NEWS :
South East Asia Earthquake and Tsumani / Dec.30th, 2004aA
After the eathquake and the tsunami which followed, the death toll has jump to mothan 120,000 people across southern Asia, after Indonesia reported that nearly 80,000 people were killed in that country alone.
South East Asia Earthquake and Tsumani / Dec.26th, 2004
|Your feed-back is welcome : email to email@example.com|
Search for a book on Indonesia