Large python saves Riza and twins

Discussion in 'Asia' started by -Cp, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. -Cp
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    -Cp Senior Member

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    http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20041230.@02&irec=1


    Large python saves Riza and twins


    The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

    A few survivors of Sunday's calamity have a snake to thank for being alive.

    Riza, a 26-year-old clothes vendor, said that at about 8 a.m. she was enjoying the holiday in bed when suddenly she saw walls of water, mud, rocks and branches rushing into the neighborhood. People were screaming and running. Riza, who was living in a rented house near the coast in Banda Aceh with three friends, dashed up to the second floor of a neighbor's house and stood on top of a cupboard.

    But as she told Antara from a makeshift shelter on Wednesday, the current swept her and her friends off their perch. As Riza was drifting, she saw her neighbors, two girls -- twins -- and their mother.

    Riza, who can swim, managed to help the girls. She saw that their mother was badly injured.

    "The mother shouted, 'please help save my children. Let me be, but please save my children,'" Riza recounted, in tears.

    As she struggled for her own life and that of the twins, she said a large snake as long as a telephone pole approached her. She and the nine-year-olds rested on the reptile, which was drifting along with the current.

    "Thank God, we landed on higher ground where the water level was only about a meter deep. The twins, who were badly injured, were safe." Riza then slapped her face to make sure she wasn't dreaming.

    Riza, who is currently taking refuge in the Bandar Blang Bintang area, plans to go to her relatives' house in Medan, North Sumatra.

    "God still loves me," she said, adding that she would never forget the tragedy.

    Another Banda Aceh man is alive, but is among many who must deal with the loss of their entire family. Surya Darma told Reuters that at the first sign of trouble that morning he had immediately grabbed two of his children, while his wife took their third. They bolted from their house outside Banda Aceh after seeing people running and shouting "Get out! Get out!"

    Unfortunately, the monstrous wave caught up with them and crashed over their heads, he said,

    "The current was just too strong. I held my children for as long as I could, but they were swept away," said Darma, lying on an army cot outside the emergency ward of a military hospital in Banda Aceh on Wednesday, covered by cuts and with a broken leg.

    His wife and his other child also disappeared. He managed to get hold of a floating piece of wood and was swept along until he smashed into the roof of a shop. The impact broke his leg but he managed to climb onto the roof.

    At 35, he said, "My life is finished. All I can do now is to surrender to God."

    Another survivor, 40-year-old Is, said that he and his family were inside their car rushing for their lives. But the tidal wave was too fast.

    "I managed to get out of the car and climb onto the roof, but my wife and two children disappeared in the wave," the resident of Ajun told The Jakarta Post.
     
  2. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    I cannot fathom the anguish these men may face - knowing they failed to hold on to their loved one as described. I pray these men find ways to cope; I know I'd be a nutcase watching my kids slip from my grasp. :(
     

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