Records of the Meulaboh Earthquake and Tsunami Emergency Response

Records of the Meulaboh Earthquake and Tsunami Emergency Response

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I remember once that day, 13 years ago, December 26, 2004. After graduating in training for new students of Natural and Environmental Lovers of Universitas Negeri Padang (MPALH UNP), I leyeh-handy at Handreas Novroly's house. Then came Agus Suryansyah with puffy eyes. Aceh was hit by a tsunami earthquake, and his family in Meulaboh is not clear.

In short, MPALH UNP sent me with Djamin Purba and Aan Abi Faris to deliver Agus. As initial capital, MPALH's fellow dues were coordinated by Richi Wiliam at that time.

This is a daring task. We are totally blinded the conditions, while the television just broadcast the miserable news that made Agus stunned. Do not know who can be contacted in Medan later. But, yes, the friend's solidarity is greater than the series of horrors. At that time the target was only one: Agus must finally reach Meulaboh as soon as possible.

We went on a trip to Medan city. There, we get news travel can not use landline. There is a tumbling street in Tapaktuan. The issue was even more mazy, more terrible. I remembered Agus crying when he heard the most terrible issue: Meulaboh would be "cremated" — yes burned — to prevent outbreaks of diseases caused by thousands of unhandled bodies.

All the way we travel, from trying to lobby to the BNPB headquarters in the area of ??Polonia Airport, visited the Aceh Family Association, to join the queue of volunteers from the Technical University of Medan. Unfortunately it just met a dead end. There was no certainty when we could leave.

On the sidelines of the uncertainty, the hand of God works. We can contact the Humanitarian Volunteer Network initiated by Father Sandyawan — friends in Padang who are looking for. Since then, our steps have become brighter. From Padangbulan, we headed to Subuhsalam, connected by ferry to Meulaboh. For West Aceh, the Humanitarian Volunteer Network is the first group of volunteers to arrive.

After the ferry we were immediately greeted by the devastating condition of Meulaboh. A blasting afternoon breeze as if carrying the scent of death and whimpering pain. Everyone I met was gloomy. And as far as the eye could see – along the road, under the rubble of the houses, in a puddle of building debris — there were many bodies. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un

The only relief was to know that the Agus family survived the whole thing.

More than a month I was there at that time. My team's work is to evacuate corpses, distribution of food logistics and medicine, to help shovel mud over the ankles of people's homes.

I do not know where the pictures are now. My team is reluctant to take pictures-we do not want to be accused of disaster tourists.

Two weeks later, when Melauboh back throbbing, we got the news that the rice stall at Simpang Hospital was opened. For us volunteers who all the time eat only instant noodles plus corned beef or canned sardines, this is like finding an oasis in the desert. Flocked us there.I ate a lot of that time, unfortunately when asked to add, the seller refused. "Make another volunteer," said the salesperson. Short of my experience eating at rice stalls, it is the first added rice rejection that I experienced.

On the sidelines of the emergency response activity I also cite rumors of logistics trucks hijacked by hungry refugees. The volunteers who were almost beaten by the citizens of the city for being too busy berswafoto ria. Also about the GAM members who died anxiety – wanted to get out of the mountain forests to help their relatives – but worried about conflict with the TNI. Who would have thought, from the great destruction that Aceh peace process is growing looming. The conflict ended since the signing of the Helsinki, Finland, August 15, 2005 Agreement.

Later, the experience in Aceh prompted me to write a short story; I titled "When Two War Stuffed Meet". The story of the forced friendship between the TNI and GAM post Aceh was rocked by the earthquake and tsunami. This short story was rewarded the Main Winner of Writing Contest Cerpen Lustrum V Faculty of Literature Andalas University. The prize in the form of cash which I then buy gold ring for my mother's birthday present.

Since that day, three times I have stamped Meulaboh back. All three, work affairs. And every time I came, I witnessed a thorough change in Meulaboh. Built-in infrastructure, a revolving economy, and a smile-friendly community. Coffeehouses grow mushrooming, bright, and open until midnight. One or two incidents are still heard-usually political affairs-but as brief as my point of view, all is much better.

This is a sign that the conflict has been resolved peacefully and with dignity. Aceh again live quietly with the family of the Indonesian nation. Aceh has been in a state of increasing security and security, so do not waste this achievement to build Aceh once again, towards a better future.

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