Sorrow Shrouds Minds of Sunda Strait Tsunami Survivors

Sorrow Shrouds Minds of Sunda Strait Tsunami Survivors

Sorrow Shrouds Minds of Sunda Strait Tsunami Survivors' photo

ACTNews, SUMUR – She could no longer hold her cry. Hajitang (47) could not bear her sorrow when remembering the tragedy that happened on Saturday (12/22) evening. For Hajitang, it was not easy to forget the moment when the massive waves suddenly hit. She was bruised all over her body when the massive wave smashed her.

To ACTNews team who visited her evacuation site, she told us her account of the calamity on Wednesday (12/26). At that time, Hajitang was in her relative’s shop located on Sumur Beach. It was supposed to be a calm night, Hajitang told us, but the tsunami suddenly happened.

Hajitang recalled that the waves came not only once but repeatedly and they got higher each time. “I got tossed around by the waves. I repeatedly mentioned Allah’s name and I asked His forgiveness. I suddenly thought about the soil liquefaction in Palu, and I hoped that it would not happen to me. Astaghfirullah. La ilaha illallah Muhammadun Rasulullah,” she told us.

Despite being tossed around by the waves; she was awake until the waves finally receded. Shortly afterwards, Hajitang met one of her neighbors who told her to stay still because there was an electric wire near her.

“We had no idea that the electricity was cut off. We did not think about that. I was overwhelmed with worry,” said Hajitang.

Someone then took her to the evacuation site in Kampung Kopi, Sumur Sub-District, Pandeglang. Though she was wounded, Hajitang did not feel any pain at all. She had to walk for tens of kilometers to reach the evacuation site in Kertajaya 2 State Elementary School in Kampung Kopi.

“I am grateful to simply be alive. Alhamdulillah, my family is also safe. My house was flattened to the ground. My husband visited the remains of our house. It was heartbreaking to see. There’s nothing else we could do. I hope that people will help us survive,” explained Hajitang.

Not only Hajitang, previously, ACTNews also met one of the tsunami survivors living on Sumur Beach. Her name was Amsa (46), who was also smashed by the waves. That night, she was about to sleep when she suddenly heard people screaming.

“Water is rising, tsunami, tsunami! Let’s evacuate!” said Amsa imitating what she heard.

She told us that she immediately got up to run. Unfortunately, before she managed to get away from the sea, she was repeatedly swept by the waves. Like what Hajitang did, all Amsa could do was praying. She only had one wish, “O Allah, I had no more might nor power. I surrender myself to you. Protect me, O Allah. Save me, O Allah.”

Suddenly, two of her relatives grabbed her. She was also brought to the evacuation site in Kampung Kopi. Unlike Hajitang, Amsa now lives in a house that belongs to one of the village elders with dozens of other evacuees.  

ACTNews team met Amsa on the beach in Sumur, right where her house used to stand, Tuesday (12/25). Amsa told us that it was the first time for her to see the remains of her house. She searched for anything she could salvage to be used by her family.

“Now, I have nothing left. This was my only house, and the place where I work selling fries to the fishermen who sailed along the coast,” Amsa explained.

The natural disasters in Lombok, Central Sulawesi and Sunda Strait showed us that no one can predict when massive natural disasters would happen. Those who lost their family and relatives as well as their wealth and property can only accept and be patient with what has been decreed for them. For Hajitang and Amsa, what’s important was that they were safe.

“What may happen in the future, I surrender myself to Allah. There are wisdoms behind every calamity. What we’ve lost will be replaced. May Allah forgive our sins,” Amsa concluded. []



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