PADENGGALNG. That night, December 22, 2018, while sleeping soundly, Rusmini (60), a resident of Lantera Cigondang Village was shocked by the noise of his neighbor’s shout.

Her son then asked her to leave the house immediately because tsunami came.

When opening the door, neck-high water hit her. After that she could not remember what had happened to her. The incident became an event that would not be forgotten for her. “45-year-old mother lives here, only this time the sea water can be this high,” she said.

The day after the incident, her son returned home to check on the condition of the house. “The next day, the child comes home, said that the house has destroyed, there are no items left anymore” he said while remembering the incident at that time.

She, her son, daughter-in-law and his family survived, but her brother who was fishing that night has not yet been found. “I let him go because it is hard to look for him in the sea,” he said with full determination.

This morning (10/1) when we met, Rusmini was carrying a wet mattress. At her age, which was no longer young, Rusmini carried the mattress and then laid it on the rubble of the building. “This is a mattress from a neighbor, it can still be used, but it is wet so i dried it first,” she explained.

Even though his house was destroyed, and until now it has not been rebuilt, he claimed that he was only 12 days in refugee camp and chose to return to his village.

“Stay here first, while what is available, what can be used is used, for clothes and food thank God, we get a lot of help, but the house can’t be built anymore”

She explained while showing help in the patch of her son’s house which she now uses to live.

The small house is currently occupied by four children and grandchildren. “I want the house to be built again, here is narrow, there are lots of grandchildren. But I could not go back to work yet, so I stay here for a while, “he said.

He added that she still wanted to stay there because that was where her livelihood was. Before the tsunami occurred, he worked daily selling salted fish to fulfill her daily needs.

Some Lantera residents have indeed begun to rebuild their homes by utilizing existing debris. “I can rent a house but I have no income yet, I could not go back to work yet, all the boats are damaged, so now just paste what is available, provided you can sleep,” she explained.

Although he claimed he was still traumatized, he still chose to return to his village and rose to his life again. “Sometimes if there is a loud noise, I still traumatized, but I should move on  not  depend on the assistance and continue staying at the camp” she concluded.


Izzatul Yazid / Lailatul Istikhomah

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