Indonesia tsunami: Father forced to choose between saving wife or his mother and son as their home gets wiped out
Ahok rushed to save his 70-year-old mother and one-year-old boy, however, he then saw his wife nearly drowning in the swirling waters in the house and took her to safety first
A 46-year-old Indonesian man, Udin Ahok, was forced to make a tragic choice last week when a tsunami smashed into his house: whether to save his wife or his mother and baby. Reports state that Ahok had just gone to sleep on Saturday evening when the wave hit his house in Way Muli village on the coast of Sumatra.
Ahok rushed to save his 70-year-old mother and one-year-old boy, however, he then saw his wife nearly drowning in the swirling waters in the house and took her to safety first. Although the couple eventually survived the tragedy, Ahok's mother and their baby were found dead under a mountain of debris, according to the Daily Mail.
A massive tsunami, triggered by a volcano eruption, smashed into Indonesia's coast over the weekend, taking over 400 lives. There was no prior warning for the disaster, which meant people had no time to escape.
A weeping Ahok, while talking to AFP from a local shelter for evacuees, said: "I didn't have time to save my mother and son. I regret it so much. I can only hope they've been given a place in God's hands."
Another survivor, Sulistiwati, a resident of the same region said, said that she is only alive because of her neighbor who saw her tumble into the salty water. The Way Muli resident is six months pregnant.
"Luckily, he spotted me and pulled me out of the wave and we ran to higher ground with our other neighbors. It was pitch black. I didn't know I could run that fast being pregnant. It was so scary. We waited for a few hours until the water went down," she said.
Meanwhile, another survivor at the evacuee's shelter wondered how will his life ever get back on track after he lost everything in the tsunami.
"I can't rebuild, everything is gone — my clothes, my money," Saki told AFP. "I had 19 million rupiahs ($1,300) inside the house," said the 60-year-old, who has been left with nothing but his white Muslim skull cap, a t-shirt, and a sarong. "I'm sleeping at the mosque and every day I come back here because I had lots of money that has been lost inside (the house)."
According to locals, at least two people were killed and 20 houses were destroyed in Saki's neighborhood.