Sunday, May 28, 2006

A deadly earthquake hit Jogjakarta

I was in the middle of my cooking session at home when I received many short messages on my mobile phones from my friends and my mother about a powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake (update: according to CNN, it's 6.3 magnitude) that has shook Jogjakarta at 5:54am on Saturday, 27 May 2006. The epicenter is about 25km south of Jogjakarta. The worst hit area is Bantul, a city near the Indian Ocean. The latest news from CNN mentioned that 2,275 people are dead.

As I wrote earlier on my previous post that I have many reasons to visit Jogjakarta, this time, I also have many reasons to be nervous about what is happening there. I was panic and quickly switched on my TV channel to CNN but at that time CNN still didn’t have the news coverage. I quickly switched on to BBC news, but there is no news coverage either. I switched on my internet and started to read the horrible news and I became tense. I tried to contact my brother who lives in Jogjakarta but his cell phone was out of reach. I frantically dialed my sister-in-law’s cell phone but I didn’t get any answer either. I extremely tensed up and kept on trying to contact any of my cousins, my aunties, or any other family members who live in Jogjakarta, but none answered. I nearly cried when finally one of cousin picked up his cell phone informing me that they were safe but they still could not get any news from my brother and his family. I became so frustrated and quickly called my parents who don’t live in Jogjakarta hoping to get further news from my brother and his family. It was very hard to contact them. I had to use my cell phone to call when I finally got to talk to my parents. They told me that they managed to talk to my brother early in the morning after the incident and before all cell phone lines got disconnected. My brother and family were safe. Their house is still standing. Only all the glass windows are broken. Many of their neighbor’s houses were flattened to the ground including a house just right behind my brother’s house. That’s all the news I got. My parents didn’t want to talk too long on the phone because they need the phone to be ready to receive any news from Jogjakarta.

I am still not relieved before I could talk to my brother personally but I really can’t contact him. The news I read on the internet informed me that the cell phone services in Jogjakarta are disrupted and the electricity is cut off. So, I really can’t do anything to contact my brother. I decided to continue cooking and put my mobile within my reach.

At around 5pm, my cousin sent me a sms informing me that he finally can contact my brother. My brother and his family are still at home safe and sound. Oh thank you God!
That’s all came out from my mouth. There are many other people I know who live in Jogjakarta and I really want to know their condition but I can’t contact them at the moment so there is nothing else I could do. I just sat down and prayed for them all while my TV channel was tuned to CNN or BBC for more news about Jogjakarta.

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