Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A Tsunami Superman

The Washington Times included an amazing story about a tsunami survivor on its website today.


[The 21-year-old survivor, Ari Afrizal, was picked up Sunday by a container ship after being swept out to sea by the tsunami from a beachfront construction site in Aceh. He is the third Indonesian to be rescued and brought to Malaysia.

"The earthquake lasted about 15 minutes," Mr. Ari said after the ship docked at Port Klang near the capital, Kuala Lumpur. "Then the waves came, big, big waves that slammed down hard on us."

Mr. Ari, who appeared fit despite the ordeal, said he saw four of his friends grab pieces of debris or uprooted trees, "but we drifted away from each other as the waves rolled us out further into the sea."

For a while, he lay on a 5-foot-long plank, weak and exhausted.
"My throat was burning. The sun was hot. I had cuts all over my body. The salt water was stinging. I couldn't even find my voice to call out to other survivors. Eventually, they all drifted away, and I was all alone," he said in an interview from his hospital bed.

"I prayed and prayed. I told God, 'I don't want to die.' ... I worried about my elderly parents and asked for a chance to take care of them. As if my prayers were answered, a broken [boat] floated toward me a few days later."

He ended up staying on the listing boat for five days before spotting a large unmanned raft with a hut on it. He swam up to it and found a gallon bottle of water aboard.

On the 15th day, Mr. Ari said, he awoke and saw the container ship bearing down on him. He attracted its attention by waving his shirt, whistling and shouting.]

This is one more reason why I won't tolerate hate blogs like "I Love Tsunamis."

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