“It’s Home… You don’t leave home.”
So says Tay Suyi, a Singaporean dive instructor living on the Gili Islands when the strongest 6.9 Earthquake hit the coast of Lombok on 5th August.
Most people headed for the hills when people shouted “Tsunami!” Others, like Tay, set out to assess the damage and save the injured.
“You know that when you stop, you’d just panic. So I just needed to do stuff.”
A makeshift harbourside hospital was set up by doctors and nurses – made up of Indonesians and foreigners on holiday – and dive instructors trained in Emergency First Response.
“It’s amazing how people band together when something’s wrong. What was cool was that every dive instructor was trained in EFR, so the island was filled with people who knew what to do.”
All this in the powerless darkness.
The evacuation the next day was a nightmare. But when the last boat finally came, 30 foreigners stayed.
They wanted to be part of the rebuilding process.
Showing as much love for Indonesia as any Indonesian, here’s to the heroic people that stayed to help save the Gili Islands.