12 years after tsunami, Indonesia is still recovering

World Today

The Indian Ocean tsunami swallowed Banda Aceh within minutes. It was named the deadliest in history, killing more than 170,000 people in Aceh alone.

Twelve years after the deadliest tsunami in history, residents in Banda Aceh are still putting the pieces of their lives together. December 26 marks the day when a 9.2 magnitude undersea quake killed nearly 300 thousand people across several countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

CCTV’s Silkina Ahluwalia takes a look at how, more than a decade later, people in Banda Aceh are coping.

12 years after tsunami, Indonesia is still recovering

Twelve years after the deadliest tsunami in history, residents in Banda Aceh are still putting the pieces of their lives together. December 26 marks the day when a 9.2 magnitude undersea quake killed nearly 300 thousand people across several countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. CCTV's Silkina Ahluwalia takes a look at how, more than a decade later, people in Banda Aceh are coping.

Gaya Triana, one 2004 Aceh tsunami survivors, will never forget the morning of December 26th 2004 when a 9.2 magnitude earthquake suddenly swept away her home and entire life.

The Indian Ocean tsunami swallowed Banda Aceh within minutes. It was named the deadliest in history, killing more than 170,000 people in Aceh alone.

“I lost my sister in the tragedy. She was only 15 years old at the time. We never found her body, only the remnants of the motorcycle she rode that day,” said Gaya.

More than a decade later, the place she used to call home is now a national site.

It froze this moment when a ship was forcefully washed inland, leaving hundreds of homes wrecked.

“This ship stopped here at the right time, it saved 59 people including myself. We took refuge here for hours before mustering the courage to climb back down,” said Gaya.

Now she works at the Aceh Tsunami Museum, where the display of photographs and artifacts gives her a glimpse of the past, one that ignites a memory of loss and devastation.

Fauzi Husaini, the Emergency Services Coordinator from Indonesian Red Cross Society, was also at the center of it all.

Working for the Indonesian Red Cross Society, he immediately became a huge part of the relief efforts after the quake happened.

“I have seen many tragedies in my life but nothing compared to the tsunami in 2004. We spent weeks evacuating hundreds of thousands of bodies, dead and alive. I lost many friends that day as well,” said Husaini.

The Indonesian government faced massive challenges in trying to restore more than $7 billion worth of infrastructure.

INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI

Gaya Triana, one 2004 Aceh tsunami survivors, will never forget the morning of December 26th 2004 when a 9.2 magnitude earthquake suddenly swept away her home and entire life.

But today, Aceh is completely transformed. The result of hard work and multiple contributions from international organizations and donors.

Some days are difficult for Gaya. The same fear she felt 12 years ago was triggered once again as the ground rumbled furiously during Wednesday’s quake.

“I cannot begin to say how afraid I was. I cannot imagine going through a similar experience again,” said Gaya Triana, 2004 Aceh Tsunami Survivor.

But she remains optimistic. Today, she looks on to clear and calm waters at the exact spot where a 30-meter wave drowned out an entire city, hoping history will never repeat itself again.