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Pulau Weh - Rebirth of Paradise after the Tsunami

On a beautiful day just like any other, divers in the water were enjoying the underwater scenery and rich marine life around Pulau Weh in Aceh, Indonesia. All of a sudden, they heard a loud and painful noise forcing all of them to cover their ears. Many thought it was a tanker passing overhead, but the sight of all the moray eels swimming out of their holes must have been something totally unimaginable and bewildering.
Pulau Weh article
Published in X-Ray Issue: 25 - Sep 2008
Authored by: Simon Kong | Photography: Aster Lau | Translation:
Download pdf â–º Rebirth of Paradise
The divers then surfaced and headed back to the dive shop, not knowing what to make of the strange phenomenon until they started seeing brand new bungalows floating on the sea.

Back at Gapang Beach, almost all the wooden houses and restaurants had disappeared, and Lumba Lumba Diving Centre had its front façade smashed away. The divers had to wait two hours until the surge was safe enough to land the boat. It was the day of the 2004 Tsunami.

Fortunately and miraculously, the tsunami that hit Aceh on December 26, claimed very few lives on Pulau Weh located only one hour north of Banda Aceh. The owners of the dive center, Ton and Marjan Egbers, survived by standing atop the dive gear rinsing shed and a tree located just beside the shop.

Most of the destructive power of the tsunami was the strong pulling power of the receding wave, where everything was swept out to sea including fins and masks prompting the owners to later joke that they were the dive shop with the mismatched fins.

Download the article to read the full story â–º Rebirth of Paradise
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