A Redditor Reminisces on Outrunning the 2004 Tsunami
“Never Forget” is often the immediate reflection on devastating tragedy, but as the media and its consumers move on in an information-saturated world, it does become increasingly easy to forget the past.
After the jump, redditor warium recounts how he and his family outran the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. With the relative lack of first-hand English-language accounts, it sheds new light on just how horrifying and unprepared many locations are for natural disaster.
[A]t this point we still don’t know what is going on, but then slowly we see water starting to trickle up, and all of a sudden the water is all around us, and is about 1 meter (3 feet) form our floor. When the first real wave came up to us, it his the outer wall of the hotel. 50cm of reinforced concrete, and it snapped like a cracker. Luckily it took most of the force so only some of the hotels walls broke, and it remained standing. The water stayed up like that for what seemed like forever.
Then it started to go down again. When it was a bid down, we didnt know what to do, but in comes the police and tells us that another wave is coming and that we have to make a run for it. So we did, i just started to run as fast as i could, through peoples gardens, bushes and mostly anything, just trying to get away from the water, that was rising again behind me. I then realize that i was running by myself, and had outrun everyone else. It is then that i realize that i can keep going on my own or i can run back towards the water and my family. I do the later. My dad is carrying the boy, my mom had hurt her foot, and my sister was only 12 at the time. So i had to slow down and help them. I was 17 at the time.
Fellow redditor Chairboy, who tragically lost his brother and his brother’s girlfriend in the disaster, also noted:
250k is just a number without context, and I some days I look around and feel shocked that the world has just ‘moved on’. I know there’s no alternative, we have to move on after events, but it feels like everything should be… different.
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TAGS: First-hand witness account • Indian Ocean • Reddit 2004 Tsunami
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