On this page, you can read short excerpted stories from people who have been affected by the Asian tsunami disaster. Some of them had little chance to be published, by having them on this site we want to help them to be heard by public.
Drowned in Train
As most of you know, my homeland of Sri Lanka was hit by a devastating tsunami yesterday, December 26th. What you may not know, is that it was my mother's home town of Galle was one of the hardest hit towns. As of now, I have personally lost an uncle, aunt, and cousin.
They were all on a train bound to Galle from the capital city of Colombo, where they had gone for a weekend getaway. The train was swept out to sea when the tsunami hit. My oldest cousin, Padmal, who was also on the train, managed to swim to safety, however, my uncle, aunt, other cousin, and thousands more that were on that train, were not so lucky. They have already found the body of my cousin, Taja...she was only 17 years old and a budding artist. They have yet to find the bodies of my uncle and aunt...and many more Sri Lankan that have been either washed out to sea or buried under rubble of destroyed buildings.
The man who saved his village
Victor Desosa, headman of the village of Galbokka, a man who likely saved thousands of lives narrates the story. He said that he had been a merchant marine sailor for 23 years, until 1987.
"In the summer of 1982, our ship was outside the harbor of Valparaiso, Chile, and most of the crew had gone into town," he said. "While I was sitting there, the ship began to shake. I ran to the deck, looked at the city and saw the buildings swaying."
"I prayed to God! What will happen to the crew? Of course, what was happening was the earthquake that killed so many people, but none of the crew. This terrible thing made a great impression on me."
"On December 26, I was down by the ocean, talking to a friend, and I saw that the water was shaking. I thought, there is some problem in the middle of the sea." Then, Desosa said, the water level began to rise.
"I did not know exactly what was happening, but the feelings I had in Chile were back and I knew we had to get out of our village. I began to hoot and shout to people to run inland, to run up on the hills."
And as the people closest to the shouting headman ran, they spread the word. Soon the entire village and surrounding populous were scrambling uphill. It was a blessing they did, for hard on their heels, the 20-foot wall of water that claimed so many others smashed into their village.
"We got to the high ground, and I thanked God," Desosa said. "I am so grateful I was able to use my experience gained so long ago to such good purpose now."