Early morning around 10am I finally received a short message on my mobile from my brother in Jogjakarta informing me that he, his wife and his 2 kids are fine but they are still very nervous and shaken by the incident. They don't dare to sleep inside their house. They are afraid of more aftershocks coming and rocking their house.
The moment I knew the cell phone service in Jogjakarta is up and running, I quickly called my brother. His wife picked up the phone and told me everything.
Here is her story:
That day, yesterday, was her birthday and she just received a sms from my mum greeting her "Happy birthday" at around 5:45am. So, she was still half sleeping and holding the phone with her. She was about to fell asleep again when suddenly she felt the whole bed rocking and she saw the whole house shaking and there were loud noise and rumble like something collapse. She thought my uncle who lives next door was making something in his kitchen which shares the wall with my brother's master bedroom. So she tried to continue sleeping while her husband, who is my brother, suddenly realized what happened and jumped out of the bed and run out of the bedroom trying to get out of the house but he couldn't find the main door key. He was very panic and started to yell asking where the hell the key was. She quickly jumped out of the bed dragging her 2 years old son and trying her best to wake up her 7 years old son while screaming calling her husband to help her carry the younger one. But her husband was extremely panic because he just couldn't find the door key. He screamed and screamed banging the door and from outside, he heard my uncles and my unties who live close to them banging the door from outside asking them to get out from the house A.S.A.P.
Luckily, his husband finally found the key and opened the door while his whole body was shaking, he found it very hard to open the door. Once the door was opened, she quickly dragged her 2 children getting out of the house with her husband and my uncles and my unties run and hugged them so tightly. They were blown off by the view they saw outside the house. Their neighbor's houses have collapsed. They saw many people running around screaming and crying because they couldn't get their other family members out of the house in time before their houses collapsed.
The situation was a total mess and very chaotic. They were so numb and just didn't know what to do. They couldn't stand still as the ground kept on moving and they felt dizzy. They tried to avoid standing near tall coconut trees which shook violently and they also saw the wave on the river in front of their house. They were totally petrified. They could feel the ground moved. There were many aftershocks following the earthquake.
Once the situation a little bit quiter, my untie took everyone home to have breakfast. After breakfast, at around 8am, many people run around again screaming there was tsunami coming to them. So again, everyone at my untie's house run up to the 3rd floor. They were so scared. My sis-in-law suddenly had view of Aceh which was hit by tsunami and earthquake in December 2004. She was extremely nervous trying her best with her husband to protect their 2 sons. But then there was no tsunami. Instead, some more aftershocks rocked the 3rd floor violently. She screamed asking for help and quickly run down and got out of my untie's house.
Her husband decided to get his motorbike and took her and the 2 kids for a ride to see the situation outside their village. When they were out on the street, they saw even more devastating situation. They went to a nearby telecom stall to rent a phone to call my parents. While calling, they could still feel the ground shook and they just couldn't bear the fear. They hung up and quickly rode the motorbike again trying to get some food to eat for lunch and dinner, but unfortunately, all the supermarkets they used to go to, have been flattened to the ground by the earthquake. Still they think they are really lucky God has saved them and their house. At least they still have a place to go home though they still don't know the condition of the building.
My brother and the whole family are still scared and blur and hungry because they still cannot find some food to eat. For my sis-in-law, that day was the worst birthday ever but at the same time God has given her the best birthday gift by protecting her and the whole family.
Gosh, I wish I could just fly there and take them with me. I have a lot of food to spare. But things are not as easy as snapping my fingers and say "Abracadabra". I think I just have to wait for any chances to help and at the moment I pray for them all.
There are alot more horrible stories that I would like to share but it's already closing to midnite and I need to sleep before my son wakes up. I will post more stories tomorrow.