BANTEN, Indonesia (Bernama) – Relieved, stunned, overjoyed and extremely thankful was how Damia, 35, felt when she saw the husband and son she feared were dead standing where her house used to be before a tsunami hit western Java on December 22.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has reported that more than 400 people died, while 30,000 people lost their homes, after the Anak Krakatau volcano in the Sunda Strait erupted and triggered a disaster.
“I immediately ran towards them … we held each other tightly. I thought they had died … but it appears they managed to save themselves,” she said about that fateful day when she went ‘home’ to salvage her belongings and discovered her missing family members instead. Recounting what happened on the day of the catastrophe, the fried tempe seller said that as she was heading home after closing shop, she saw many people running helter-skelter.
“I was puzzled and asked my neighbour what was going on… a big wave had hit, I was told. I panicked and worried about my husband and son. When I couldn’t find them, I cried thinking they were gone.
“Then I saw the water rising to my knee and decided to get to higher ground before a big wave submerges the house,” Damia said.
Damia was living in a temporary shelter in Sumur for a few days before she decided to come back to the ‘house’ to see what she could rescue.