Indonesian Man Finally Reunites With Wife Who Went Missing After Palu Tsunami
Azwan and Dewi Prasasti were just two of the people whose lives were affected by the tsunami that engulfed the city of Palu, Indonesia on Friday, 28 September
When the tsunami hit Palu, Dewi was registering guests for a festival at a beachside hotel.
"A wave came and hit me hard. When I regained consciousness, suddenly I was on the street in front of the hotel," she told AFP.
Dewi eventually found an evacuation post, which had no food or water, to stay the night while waiting out the aftershocks with other survivors.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the city, her worried husband Azwan set out on a grim task.
For the next 48 hours, he checked patients in medical centres and body bags of makeshift morgues.
"When I couldn't find my wife in any of the bags I went back to the hospital, the police hospital, and checked the morgue," the 38-year-old civil servant explained.
"There was a massive amount of dead bodies there. It was so messy — on the terrace, inside, on top of each other."
By Sunday, 1 October, a grief-stricken Azwan was beginning to expect the worst, accepting it as "God's way."
Just then, his injured wife appeared limping towards their family home.
"When she got off the motorbike — it was euphoria," he recounted.
"I was so happy, so emotional — thank god I could see her again," he said, adding that their relatives all broke out in tears.
While expressing her gratitude for "another chance" at life, Dewi admitted that she still struggles with coming to grips with what happened
"Even now I can't believe I'm here alive," she said.
"I'm still traumatised, especially because my sibling has not yet been found," she told AFP.
As of 4 October, the death toll in the twin quake-tsunami disaster has climbed above 1,400, according to Al Jazeera.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's disaster agency spokesperson, estimated that thousands have been injured and possibly hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes.
This air traffic controller is being hailed a hero for his sacrifice when the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Central Sulawesi: