Safein's Sorrow After His Mother Killed by Soil Liquefaction

Safein's Sorrow After His Mother Killed by Soil Liquefaction

ACTNews, SIGI – The earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi in late September were followed by soil liquefaction in several areas in Palu and Sigi, Central Sulawesi. The strong tremors of the earthquakes had caused the soil to lose its strength and stiffness, leading to the collapse of the buildings on it. Thousands of people were buried under the mud and rubbles. One of the casualties was the mother of Ahmad Safein (12), a child from Jono Oge Village, Sigi Regency.

It was almost dark in Jono Oge when the disasters struck. The sun was descending behind Mount Gawalise that stretches from western Donggala to Sigi.

With his older brother, Safein was fishing that afternoon. The sudden 7.4 earthquake that shook Sigi made them panic. They immediately ran back home. It was all dark along the way, for there was an outage shortly after the earthquake started shaking.

The villagers were filling the streets. They all panicked. The earthquake that shook for a few minutes had cracked the asphalt road on which Safein and his brother were running. The tremors also caused the earth on which Safein’s house was standing to lose strength and stiffness. The buildings collapsed into the ground.

Along the way home, Safein and his brother was warned by the villagers not to get close, for the soil liquefaction also dragged the buildings in Jono Oge westward.

Safein and his brother stopped when the road in front of them was destroyed by the earthquake. They turned around and ran to their relative’s house not far from Jono Oge. “When the tremors finally stopped, I tried to go back home, but my house was not there, so I went back to my aunt’s house,” explained Safein when Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) team came to give psychosocial support in his evacuation site in Pombewe Village, Friday (10/26).

Mother found after two days

It was the longest Friday (9/28) night for Safein and other evacuees. They all wondered what happened to their houses. When the dawn finally broke, they all found out that Jono Oge Village had moved two kilometers westward to Dolo Sub-District. The Palu-Palolo road that went through the village was destroyed. The buildings that were not dragged by the liquefaction were in ruins.

On Saturday (9/29) morning, Safein and his brother rushed to search for their family whom they last seen on Friday afternoon. Safein was finally reunited with his father and three of his older siblings. They were all injured. Unfortunately, Safein’s mother was nowhere to be seen. “My mother was not with my father and my older siblings,” said Safein, unable to hold his tears.

Safein’s mother was found two days after the earthquake, Sunday (9/30). Unfortunately, she was no longer alive. Her body was found in Kabobona village, two kilometers away from the site where his house once stood. Kabobona was the place where the buildings dragged by the soil liquefaction finally stopped. “I was extremely saddened, and I cried,” Safein said, Friday (10/26).

Now, Safein and his siblings are motherless. At a tender age of twelve, he had to be deprived of a mother’s love and care. “Love your parents while they are alive,” he said to ACT team.

More than a month after the disasters in Palu, Sigi and Doggala, Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Board mentioned that, as of October 21st, approximately 2,256 were confirmed dead. No less than 1,300 were missing and more than 68,000 were displaced. []

 

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