Note 1 : Aceh Tsunami 10 years not too late.

by Sirinon Suwanmolee

This is my first trip to Aceh. I have to Thank HANDs’s Project of Japan foundation which support this great study program for ASEAN youth. which are the 2nd batch fellow.

Thai and Myanmar participant we started this trip from Suwanabhum airport. GARUDA airline take us to Jarkarta then flew to Banda Aceh , the place of memory and the place of recovery.

The weather of Aceh is similar Thailand. The smog from Sumatra Island didn’t effect to our area too much because the cape landscape led the wind blow the smoke out. The outlook of the hotel that we rest are enclose with rice field and the village. The arc of the building led the cool wind flow through the decorating grass on their coffee table.

Next morning, the bus bring all of us had a sightseeing around the affected area form the outmost industrial estate to the beach that US Navy ship have been anchor down and move the troops for humanitarians task after Tsunami hit Aceh. Ten years ago , I have been volunteer in tsunami affected area in Thailand at Phangnga’s Tsunami volunteer center. I had heard the story of Aceh from the Fijian guy that he said he had been volunteer in Aceh before he came to Thailand. The situation when he volunteer in Aceh was downhearted. There were the body of the victim all over float on the port. People use bamboo stick seize the dead body which raise with the wave into the land. He help the survivor recover the bodies only 1 week because the sadness is insufferable.

So now, I had arrived Aceh with Hands project to learn about the history of Aceh tsunami recovery. Ibnu is one of Aceh tsunami volunteer. He is one of Hands participant also. firstly, he volunteer for Psychocharist then he met Beautiful girl and married her after that. He transfer his experience and the indigenous knowledge to us. Aceh also have the sea gypsy as Thailand. Aceh’s sea gypsy have the lullaby song named “smong”. This song recalled the history of the big wave which destroy the life if the earth is quake and the sea is suddenly low tide. The huge wave are coming. Then the way to survive is the higher ground. This song made the most sea gypsies survive while the urban people are lost.

After the introduction of Aceh tsunami story at the beach. Next place Ibnu bring us to Rahmatullah Lampuuk Masjid. 10 year ago this place was the rural community along Lhoknga beach. when tsunami hit most survivor was survive by climb on the second floor of the masjid.

Nowadays, this masjid is the Landmark of the tsunami affected area. Most visitor have to visit this masjid to see the clue of the damage at the pillar inside the masjid.

Therefore, Masjid is not only the architect of culture. It’s also the architect of the soul. High-rise Masjid also mean the shelter and the survival of the communities.

After visit this masjid , we went to PLTD Apung monument. After the bus move to the village along the narrow road. I look to the left and amazed with the huge ship in the middle of the village. It’s bigger than the blue ship in Ban-Nam-Khem village (tsunami affected area in Thailand) round 4 fold. The blue ship in Ban-Nam-Khem village is only 15 meters length. It’s become the tiny ship if compared with PLTD ship.

Highlight of this place is Electric generator ship ‘s PLTD (Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Diesel) 2600 tonnes which tsunami washed up and shift for 3 km. from the shore then place it here. So, this ship is semiotic of the tsunami power. They renovate inside the ship become the museum led the people learn directly the scientific knowledge from tsunami history on scene.

Moreover the indoor museam, LTD Apung monument also have outdoor museum and the commemorate monument outside. They made the sky walkway around the damage building reach to the ship to show the level of the water from top view. This walkway led the visitor recognize the risk of the landscape , the structure of the village such as the resident zone, work zone, masjid and the graveyard.

OK ,I’m already walk around. Let’s on board.

They have the Air-conditioner inside !

The first zone show the mechanism of tsunami, how the wave shift the ship here step by step both historic view and scientific view.

This is Wall of the humanitarian help along the rehabilitation.


How to safe yourself when tsunami hits.

some panel didn’t have English description.

Visitor can walk from the ground through the rooftop.

Finally, We finish the first half day with Aceh Nasi as the lunch. Ayam Tangkap and Rendang are charged me up full power.