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A day after tsunami warning, Indonesia breathes a sigh of relief

April 12, 2012 11:32 IST

A day after an earthquake measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale hit Sumatra in Indonesia, triggering panic among locals who have not forgotten the devastating tsunami of 2004, life is gradually limping back to normal on the island.

"In 2004, nearly two lakh people were killed by the tsunami triggered by an earthquake. Since then, the people of Indonesia live under constant fear and terror of natural disasters. A flash of lightening in the sky is enough to terrify the people. We -- the Indians -- are a small community in Sumatra. I had left the country for a short span of time after the 2004 tsunami but returned for my business," Sudarshan Mitra, a resident of Sumatra, told over the phone.

In an informal conversation with this correspondent, T Paula, a resident of Jakarta, said that Sumatra has been experiencing heavy rains since Wednesday night.

"Thank God the worst is over. The Lord almighty spared us. We prayed for the people living in the Sumatra region. Hope they had a peaceful sleep after their harrowing experience," she said in an internet chat.

Several residents of Indonesia, relieved that the tsunami threat has abated, have taken to social networking sites to express their relief. They have been putting up lovely pictures of today's sunrise, indicating that the worst is over and they can now go on with their lives, according to another Indonesian.

"Those who live on small islands have to be ready for the fury of nature all the time. We may not be as brave as soldiers but good enough to take the worst in our stride," he wrote.

Onkar Singh In Delhi