Yogyakarta-May_2006

YOGYAKARTA, MAY 2006

[Following is an E-mail from John Nixon we received to-day. By coincidence, Paul Billeter and his friend Paula are here in Millersville to attend an NSF Workshop: Paul and I visited Yogya in 2000, and I also visited Yogya and Parangtritis in 1988. Also linked is a newspaper article of last night demonstrating not only that aid is on the way but stating that the US aid is "significant" - hubris revisited! Our condolences and best wishes to the fine people of Yogya!]
I have heard today that Yuni's younger brother Urip, with his family, living in Yogyakarta are all safe and sound, although part of the roof of their house fell in. In April 2004 I spent six days in Yogya, during which I attended the wedding of Urip's daughter Vitri. With a major earthquake 30 km to the south and an erupting volcano (Merapi) 30 km to the north, the citizens of Yogya must be wondering what they have done to deserve this! Meanwhile you may be interested in the following eyewitness account that I just received this morning from a friend who lives in the southern part of Yogyakarta (a city of over one million), only 6 km north of Bantul, where most of the devastation and casualties occurred. Her English is colourful, but she paints a vivid picture of the scene immediately after the earthquake:
QUOTE:
"It was Saturday, early in the morning. It was a shiny holiday, and a nice time to have a sleep..until at 5.45 am. I was still lying on my bed, when suddenly I woke up because of a big shake. It's like a dream, when my sister screaming "Gempa, gempa..!" inside of my house. I ran through the fell down things in my house, go to the living room and try to open the door. My sister was tried to open the door, but it was stuck, the handle (to hold and open the door) was fell down because of the shake. A lamp fell down, almost touching my head. Suddenly I realized, I have to find another way. My sister and I ran through a fallen roof, go to the backdoor. I brake the door, and I jump out. I sit on a rock, in my backyard..still didn't believe what's happen.Earthquake still happen when I was outside my house. I was speechless,holding my hand's sister.The earthquake was not more than 1 minute.After I didn't feel any shake, I look into my home. Half of the roof was fallen, all of my stuff was fallen too. The wall was damage, but not fell down. Water and electricity was off, and when I want to make a cell phone contact..there was no signal !! ( I haven't change my cell phone number). Me and my sister was alive, with some scar and little injured. There was 3 people in home. Me, Novi, and Nova which was back to Yogya to pack some stuff for her home in Banjar. My Mom was in Solo, Central Java..she was visiting her sister.My neighbour also alive and ok.I went to my home again, tried to fix the damage. But suddenly, earthquake came again but with a bitter shake. I ran to the door. And the shake gone again. It's happen about 3 times. I encouraged myself to came into my home, collecting the fallen roof and stuff. About 6.30 am, I heard people yelled "Air GEMPA, air datang..Tsunami..!!" from south. I went out and saw people running to the north. They were screaming loudly that water come and Tsunami happened. With no more words, my sister Nova ride a motorbike. The 3 of us was riding one motorbike, ride as fast as we can to the north. We ride it across the Ring Road way, which directly can connect Yogya to Kaliurang, Merapi. It's like the end of a world. People ride motorbike, car, truck with panic and nothing to be brought.Car lamp was on, sirine was on, and people ride their bike like a car racing. I saw a truck full of dozen people, old and young, ran like a devil. A bus from the north, turn it's direction as fast as a light, go to the north again.The street we're caos, the traffic light was off.I even saw a motorbike accident. I want to cry, but I can't.
I was stopped in Magelang Street, about 12 kilometers north of my home. There, people still panic and some of them still ride their bike to the north. About 30 minutes later, a police car pass through with a sirine and an announcement. "Tidak ada Tsunami, air di laut selatan pasang tapi tidak ada tsunami..!!". After that, people went to their home again. Maybe people was scared, they've saw tsunami in Aceh. It was an earthquake first, then tsunami came. Maybe, people panic and scared if it's happened. Including me.
After that, I went home with a little bit relax feeling. I was cleaning the house, with some earthquake still happen..but with bitter shake. A neighbour said, it was a tectonic earthquake made from the bottom of the Hindia Sea, in 5,9 scale of Richter (Tsunami in Aceh was 9,6 scale of Richter). It was 33 kilometers from the Parangtritis beach, in 37 kilometers beneath the sea. The most hurrible destruction was in Bantul,which is 6 kilometers south of my home.Until now, the earthquake still happen with just a little shake. It's happen about once in 15 minutes.About 4400 people died burried alive in their home in Bantul, maybe they have no time to runaway.My home was a little broken, but I'm okay. In the night, I slept in a tent outside my home.People were doing the same way too, they scared if the house we're falling down because of the non-stop shake. It was rainy, cloudy and cold night..with a shake from the earthquake that sometimes appear.Sunday, my cell phone started to have a signal. Calls came from my family, frineds..asked my condition.

John, I have to go. I felt the shake again, I have to go now. I'll sent you an email again."
UNQUOTE

Yogya Links: A - B - Merapi erupts - BLO fecit 20060531 thanks John! - stories