I was just a kid when the alarms rang through the capital of my city. Every news channel and radio reporting an imminent wave of destruction heading right towards us. I am sure most of the people who lived at that time, especially me who was just in his primaries could not understand what a tsunami actually was. Yet a whole country gripped in fear. Anticipating the wave that is to come. Only later would we find out it was one of the deadliest natural disasters to happen in recorded history.
At this point in my life, I only have vague memories of that day. I am not sure if my mind is blocking the veracity of the fear I felt, or it just faded from my memory like writings on sand. That is not to say I remember nothing. How can I forget how schools were brought to a halt that day. How every family gathered round televisions hoping for better news. How people prayed for the safety of their loved ones in other towns and islands.
Before it hit us, majority of the people felt a massive earthquake rumble beneath our feet. Not destructive enough to actually damage infrastructures but enough to let us know something was wrong. Then reports started coming from other areas. It was not good. Some of the islands infrastructures completely wiped out. Reports of waves as higher than 30 meters (100 feet) hitting our neighboring countries. People running for their lives from a disaster that they have never seen in such capacity. It did not bode well for us.
I remember feeling a sense of fear that I had never felt before. I remember how my family kept me away from the news so that I would not be scared about it. Me and my sibling waiting in a room while all the adults huddled near a television or radio. Silent as the night. Listening attentively to what was happening. I would occasionally stick my head out curious as to what the situation was. Were we going to get hit? Living on an island where the highest land point from sea level was just above 2 meters did not show confidence in its safety.
Yer here I am, 13 years later, writing my feelings of a disaster that shook a multitude of nations. I remember when it did hit my island it was not as severe as the others. Being the capital, it had constructed wave barriers to counter massive waves. It is not to say we got off scot-free. almost all the roads and building were flooded. waves were larger in size and hit the barriers hard. People living in the city could never be sure if this was the worst of it. Everyone expecting the massive wave of destruction to hit us at any moment.
Looking back, I believe we were one of the lucky few. Watching all the documentaries and reports of that day are just saddening. Stories of mothers who had lost their children to the waves. Families that lost their homes and towns. Islands completely rendered useless. A final death count was estimated to be almost 300,000 people worldwide, and a total of around 1.4 million people displaced due to the disaster making it the most destructive tsunami in recorded history.
Nowadays whenever I hear about a natural disaster that has occurred at any place in the world, I sometimes drift to these memories. The fear clenches you like skin to your flesh. I know how it feels even if it is a little to be gripped with fear. I can empathize with their pain. And if there were anything a mere student such as myself could do, I will. Would you?
via Daily Post: Devastation