outside the box

  Amid the chaos and misery emerge remarkable tales of survival

Friday, January 07, 2005

Just when the world thought it has seen the worst calamity of the year, comes something that will forever be printed in history books.

Reading the papers since after christmas, seem to always bring me down. Searching for a missing friend, I get distraught, ending up with no results. Adding up the thought of Real, Quezon and Aurora, provinces of the Philippines, still struggling from the Typhoons that swept the region days before Christmas; and aside from the almost 150,000 dead and countless more still missing brought by the tsunami after Christmas, there are a few stories that I read which gave me the goosebumps.

Amid the chaos and misery brought by the tumultuous waves of water that shattered the lives of millions of people last December, heart-wrenching cases continue to suface from the devastation.

►> In one rare success story that stunned rescue workers, Anthony Praveen, 8, opened his eyes and sat up as grave diggers were about to burry him in the southeren-indian town of Velankanni.

He was in a stupor (trance-like coma) among a pile of corpses taken from a morgue to be burried at a beach grave and only managed to communicate at the nick of time, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported from the town.

►> In Malaysia, a fishing boat rescued an Acehnese woman who had been drifting in the Indian Ocean for five days after being washed away by the force of waves. Housewife Malawati, 23, was found floating alive Friday not far from the shores of Indonesia's Aceh, the area hardest hit by the Dec.26 disaster, a malaysian International Tuna Port official told Bernama news Agency. The woman, sun-burnt and suffering fish bites, was clinging to an uprooted palm trunk which had clusters of fruit on it, helping her get through the ordeal.

►> Another resident of Aceh named Rizal Shahputra was found alive about 160 km from the shores of the province on Monday, eight days after the waves swept this area in the island of Sumatra. He survived floating on huge tree branches.

►> Another amazing tale of survival involved 6-year-old Zoe Shiu, who escaped the tragedy that ravaged Thailand's western coast by clinging to a large floating sofa cusion. The little girl who has US and Thai passports, was playing in the swimming pool of the Sofitel Magic Lagoon resort in Khao Lak north of Phuket when the onrushing water swept the Andaman coast.

She clung to the cusion which eventually led her to an overturned boat that a hotel maid was also reaching for. The two managed to turn over the boat and got in safely. The lucky girl was the only one in her family known to have survived, Singapore News reports said.

►> Tens of thousands of children were killed in the horror of that day, too small and too weak to have the strength to hold unto trees or debris, which makes new-born S.Tulasi extremely lucky to have survived.

The 20-day-old baby was sleeping on a mattress which floated her way to safety after Malaysia's Penang Island was hit by walls of water, local media reported.


atomicvelvetsigh drank tea with Pandora @ 11:30 PM  


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