Thursday, September 13, 2007

Earthquake Hits Sumatera

Last evening as I was driving home from Bangsar, I heard a tsunami alert for the coastal areas of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak, announced over the radio.
This followed an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2 in southern Sumatera.

My heart missed a bit.
It was reported that states along the west coast of the peninsula felt the tremors from the quake which occurred at 155km southwest of Bengkulu in southern Sumatera and 718 southwest of Johor Bahru at 7.10pm.

People were told to stay away from the shoreline because an earthquake of this magnitude had the potential to generate a widespread tsunami that could affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean.
But the alert was later withdrawn.

Then, early this morning, another powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the south Sumateran province.

The second quake occurred 575km southwest of Johor Bahru.
According to Bernama, there were reports of tremors being felt in the west coast of the peninsula.
But no tsunami alert has been issued.

So far, no casualties have been reported in the country, But in Sumatera, at least 3 people were reported killed in Padang, West Sumatera while eight others were believed burned alive under the rubble of a collapsed 3-storey building.

Many shops, houses and other buildings there were reported to have collapsed following the earthquake.
Hundreds of people living along the coast have fled heir homes for fear of a tsunami.

All Malaysians students in Indonesia have been confirmed safe, according to Bernama, quoting Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Zainal Abidin Mohamed Zin.
There are no Malaysians studying in Bengkulu.

I pray that the situation does not get any worse in the Sumateran province.

I remember the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
I was always working on Dec 26 every year of my working life since becoming an editor for the very simple reason that Christmas holidays are for my Christian colleagues. So I and my non-Christian colleagues would take turns to work during the Christmas holidays.
I don't quite remember any exciting thing ever happening on Boxing Day before 2004. Or perhaps, that tragedy eclipsed every other reported on every Dec 26 before 2004. I don't know.

It was a quiet and, as we say a "dry" morning that Dec 26 of 2004,
But, I did not have to wait long for some excitement and drama.
I was on 8am duty. The first call came early from a very worried reader who was forced to evacuate her apartment unit in a high-rise block with the other residents after the building literally shook.
Now, what was that about? Couldn't pooh-pooh her. Her apartment building shook, for goodness sake.
Let's check with the crime desk. Nothing.
But there must be something if hundreds of people felt their apartment block shake.
Made several calls. Checked Bernama and other wire service agencies. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing official.
And then....nothing could prepare us all for what was to follow.
First from Penang. Nothing serious but potentially alarming.
Before we knew it, calls and info about tidal waves across the Indian Ocean came like an unstoppable avalanche. And deaths. And deaths. Almost everywhere.
The sense of unpreparedness, hopelessness.
The death toll was astounding. More than 225,000 people dead and missing. With a magnitude of 9.1 to 9.3, it was the second largest earthquake ever recorded.

No, I don't want to remember that tsunami of 2004.

6 comments:

Mat Salo said...

No, I don't want to remember Sunday, December 26th, 2004 either.

I remembered it being such a pleasant day, because I was attending a friend's wedding in Kuang (yes, that kampong by the lake). No, nothing out of the ordinary at all. I remembered it as being a very hot day, that's all, while I sweated like a pig eating the cholestrol-laden nasi minyak. It was a happy occasion, you see, because my bachelor friend chose to end his bachelorhood at a rather advance age of 47 (ex-budak Engine lagi!)

Little did we know of the carnage that was to unfold ...

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

there was another tragedy arising from the 04 tsunami. this one related to how some very seedy characters in the media, who claimed to be close to the powers-that-be, used the tsunami tragedy to rebrand themselves as the good guys. even the tsunami was politicised! remember, there were questions about where all those millions really went to? the crooks are always crooked.

selamat berpuasa.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

mat salo:

you knpw, most everyone I know were happily doing their own thing....

selamat berpuasa!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

rocky,

and they are still around being crooked!

Selamat berpuasa!

Zawi said...

Rocky,
Why not expose him? Not everyone knows who he is and if you give him another exposure at least he will have to come out with an explanation as to what happened to the disaster fund. Or the least is people wont be conned into giving donations again should this guy is involved, otherwise history will be repeated.

QueenB said...

perhaps we should do something to stop global warming?