Indonesia Tsunami 2010

a survivor grieves

On Monday, October 25, a tsunami hit Indonesia, triggered by an undersea earthquake of 7.7 magnitude. The fault line on Sumatra island’s coast is the same one that caused the 2004 quake and tsunami that killed 230,000 people, including family members of our Laga Team.

Ten foot waves left hundreds dead, hundreds more missing and thousands displaced and homeless. Flooding extended more than 600 yards inland, washing away roads, homes, crops and people.

Even worse, rough weather and bad seas left the islanders isolated and without rescue assistance for two days. When the first rescue teams arrived, on Wednesday, they found bodies strewn on beaches, hanging from trees and half buried under the wreckage, with legs or arms poking out from the debris. There was simply not enough manpower for the islanders to bury all their dead.

Disaster relief officials believe the death toll will exceed 600. They fear that many of the hundreds still missing will never be found, washed out to sea as the tsunami receded, never to be found.

Over 13,000 people are currently living in makeshift tents, grieving the loss of loved ones and friends.

Officials report that days after the tsunami, an 18 month boy was found alive in a clump of trees. The infant’s parents both perished in the tsunami, but the toddler is alive and recovering in a health center. He was discovered and rescued by a ten year old boy.

The miracle of this rescue is one small bright spot in a time of staggering grief.