JAKARTA: An angry river of seawater and splintered houses that swept up cars and trees as it raced through the streets of Banda Aceh was shown yesterday in a newly-acquired amateur video of the tsunami disaster.
Beginning with dazed women in prayer after surviving destruction wrought by the huge tremor, the film captures the height of panic as people scramble up buildings to escape the torrents and ends with a row of cloth-covered corpses.
The footage aired on Jakarta's Metro TV shows dozens of collapsed concrete buildings being inspected as distraught residents clear up the damage of the earthquake, unaware that the worst is yet to come.
As a cry of panic goes up, hundreds of people race through the streets, ahead of what is initially a small gush of liquid but within five seconds becomes a rapidly advancing mass of debris and vehicles.
From second-storey rooftops where the lucky managed to shelter, the torrents roar past, thick with mud and the bricks, wood and metal of destroyed houses. Screams and cries echo over the noise of the rapids.
As the waters slow to a languid pace, hundreds of onlookers can be seen staring in disbelief from the balcony of the city's main mosque, while the first of 100,000 people killed across the region are pulled from the chaos. – AFP
Incident sparks trauma worries
BANDA ACEH: An Indonesian officer fired 15 gunshots outside the United Nation's relief headquarters here early yesterday, sparking concerns that soldiers may be suffering from trauma.
The incident at 2.30am was initially believed to be a gunfight between the military and rebels who have been fighting a separatist war in Aceh. UN officials said it was just one man.
“It all came from one person, a soldier or a police officer,” said an official who requested anonymity. A guard nearby saw the incident, he said. – AFP