As the 2004 tsunami approached her village on Lhok Me beach in Indonesia’s Aceh province, Rusmiati grabbed her infant daughter Fathan and ran for the hills. Fathan was only 24 days old, and for the next two years of her life would live with her family in a tent perched on a hillside over the scenic beach where the family’s simple thatched roof house once stood.
Fishermen from Kubang Gajah passed the tsunami while out on the sea, and when they returned afterward to their home village they thought they’d mistakenly landed somewhere else. The destruction they found was total, says Muhammadin, the treasurer of a local credit and savings group organized by the ACT Alliance.
“I was away at the market, but when I returned home everything was flattened. My house was a kilometer from the beach, but there was nothing left but rubble,” he said.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Nurul Aina was not at home when the 2004 tsunami swept over Lam Pulo, a neighborhood of Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island. The 8-year old girl was sleeping at her grandparent’s home several kilometers away, and was thus spared the violent waves that flattened the family’s home, killing her parents and two siblings. As international aid poured into Aceh in the months after the tragedy, the residents of Lam Pulo grew frustrated with the slow pace of reconstruction.
Preliminary Appeal Target: US$854,616
Geneva, 18 December 2014
When the earth shook in 2004 under the seaside village of Kuala Bubon, Husna was washing clothes at a well. She ran to find her mother, but the older woman refused to leave their house near the sea. So Husna ran with her 8-year old son Bagus to the mosque, where some villagers were hurriedly preparing to leave. She left Bagus there and returned for her mother, who again refused to leave, even though the sea level was dropping drastically–a prelude to a tsunami, though Husna admits she’d never heard the word before.