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Waves 'as high as coconut trees' during Sunda Strait tsunami - witnesses

Last update: 12/01/2019
By MUHAMMAD AFIQ MOHD ASRI

BANTEN (Indonesia), Jan 11 (Bernama) -- The devastating tsunami which struck the Sunda Strait about three weeks ago, affecting the Sumur and Taman Jaya 2 districts as well as the areas surrounding them, was like a 'nightmare' to the local residents.

Yatnor, 40, said saw waves as high as eight meters, about the height of an average coconut tree.

"At the time, I was relaxing with my friends (friends) on the second floor of my wooden house in Sumur, when I saw the villagers trying to flee after seeing the huge tsunami waves.

"I was stunned for a couple of minutes, looking at the waves (tsunami) coming one after another, I couldn't even move my feet. Luckily, a friend pulled my hand (along to escape from the scene)," he said when met by Bernama at the post office.

The last time such a tsunami had occurred in the area was in 1883, when the eruption of the Krakatau volcano killed thousands.

Yatno said he then ran as fast as he could to higher ground, and a few minutes later, he saw the tsunami engulf his two-storey home.

"If my friend had not pulled my hand, I would have surely been killed, as my house was completely destroyed.

"It was very scary (witnessing the tall waves), Thank God I survived," he said with tears flowing down his cheeks.

Another victim, Maimunah, 42, said she and her husband were in a fishing house built using bamboo at about 8 pm on the night of the incident.

"I was just keeping the fishing nets when my husband shrieked, saying the sea had suddenly receded.

"I was shocked by my husband's screams and went out, only to see all the water receded, with tsunami waves 'as high as coconut trees' from afar," she said.

Maimunah said that at the time she felt like she was going to die, as the waves were only about 60 metres away, but she and her husband managed to escape.

"I am very traumatised and will always remember this incident (tsunami) hitting our village and I have suggested (to my husband) to stop fishing after this," she said.

The tsunami which struck the Sunda Straits on Dec 22, occurred due to undersea earth movements after the eruption of the volcano Anak Krakatau.

The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) of Indonesia report that to date, more than 400 people have been killed, while 30,000 have lost their homes.

-- BERNAMA




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