Friday, January 29, 2010

Tsunami Survivor 2004

Yup, I'm talking to myself. Hardly mentioned this to everyone I meet, only a few of friends or colleagues knew about my 2004 Tsunami experience. Kinda phobia to stand beside seaside. 5 consecutive years, I still have the phobia. It was unforgettable experience to just wipe away from memory.

Captured in Uluwatu, Bali with bro-in-laws year 2005. The strong wave hit the beach recalled the most horrible experience I gone through.
Uluwatu - Brothers-in-law

People said if you speak out the phobia will go away. Let me test this out, phobia phobia go away from my head.

It was 26 Dec 2004 afternoon 1350 at Keracut beach. I was lying on the rock which was about 3-5 meters high from the sea. The sea tide was unusually low than the normal sea level. I could see the leaving mark from rocks. The interesting part was the pond before you reach Keracut beach. It was dried!~ My friends and bro-in-laws were playing with water at the entrance of sea water and pond water. Surprisingly the water came out from pond to sea, very swiftly. It was just like something pull the water out from pond.

"We supposed to expect the boat fetch us back in another 10 mins - at 1400," mumbling my words to wife who just passed me apple to bite.

At 1405, I started to stretch body after lying there to read papers. Then the fishing hobbyists were shouted and pointed to the sea.

"wah lao, look at the wave!!!" The hobbyist shouted and quickly packed their stuffs to get ready to retreat from the rocks.

I started to realize a loud noise from sea. The wave was unusually white across the horizon. Suddenly there was a boat from right side speeding across my sight to left. It was about 200 meters from my sight. The huge noise and white wave never stop approaching me. My bro-in-law suddenly appeared beside me, having camera to record video for this unusual wave and noise.

Idiotically, I told him - this was the most interesting part of the year end event. Never seen this incident before. 4 of us stood side by side (except we didn't realize another 2 friends still stood at beach side) to watch this strong wave coming towards us. Me and bro-in-law dare to stand forward to have better view. White wave mixed with dirty mud continued to march swiftly towards us. Not yet realize the huge disaster may take our lives just like that.

When the white wave hit the right side coastal rock which is about 100 meters from sight, we just realized something went wrong. The moment when we had a flash of thought to escape, the Tsunami wave already almost in front of us. It was just a split of 1.5 seconds! I recalled this vividly because I checked out from wrist watch. Bro-in-law and I retreat very quickly to go higher rock.

Splash! The first hit made us all wet! Shouting at my wife and sis-in-law to climb higher. 2nd hit again impact the rocks even we climbed higher level. I could feel the strong impact of Tsunami wave. My body suddenly shivered uncontrollably to respond. Eyes were searching for direction and bags we left. Went down to the rock and search for our bags. Luckily no more 3rd hit.

When we realized another 2 friends, I started to go mad, shouted their names hysterically. Nevertheless, the loud noise of wave entering the pond covered my uncontrollable high pitch voice. Tears came out directly when we saw them under the tree from bridge.


The pond saved us all!

Another big boat was parked at the small jetty initially, after the hit, half of the boat hang on the tree. I couldn't imagine the initial boat speeding... what had happened to the that speeding boat? Several questions still in my head - a lot of what and how come. The inevitable inner anxious and phobia still like ghost, haunting for years. Time to let go now!


KM's Corner 刻骨铭心 said...

Bro, I still remember I am suppose to follow you guys for the Keracut trip but due to my wife was pregnant that time, I decided not to join you guys. And I still remember how worried I am.. when got to know the news about the tradegy, and then immediate ring you to make sure you all are fine. Thank God, you all are OK and safe. After read your blog,it turns me down again, as I recall the sad dragon boat tradegy that just happen 2 weeks ago. And one of the victim is my cousin sister's nephew.. Conclusion, value what we have and our loves one.. we are not able to predict what will happen on the next min, second, hour or day..

Hong CN said...

well KM - I can still recall vividly for every split of second on series flashes of thought, both during the moment and after the tragedy when we walked back to take our cars.

Probably this is fate. I had two experiences of nearly die, first was 12 during cycling; 2004 Tsunami then even nearer without any control.

After this incident, I started to realize how I wish to continously value whoever comes across my life path. Choose not to think about the past tragedy but to march forward for the better tomorrow.

Take care man :-)

Joelynn Ooi said...

Hong, after reading this, I just wanted to say "It's GOOD to see you around now". What past is past, relax eventhough it's hard to let go so easily :D Cheers....
conclusion: we must appreciate whatever we have now and love your loved one as much as we could, no one knows what will happen tomorrow/future. Be happy!

Elaine Peng said...

CN - U see human is so fragile compares to nature,,, almighty god won't tell u exactly when it will comes and stricts us. Just like recent case in Haiti, this poor country is suffering of poverty and yet suffering of misfortune nature disaster.

Pray to God, our almighty God....

When the sea quiet, we see the beauty scenery of sun raise till sunset. But once it angry, terrific tragedies occurred.

Hong CN said...

Thanks Joelynn :-) I'm still learning to appreciate whoever cross my path and teach me something no matter it is big or tiny :-)