Jennifer Montgomery-Lay and her household had been of their resort room in Lombok, Indonesia when the constructing was rocked by the primary of a number of lethal earthquakes, which might go on to kill greater than 130 individuals throughout Indonesia’s tourism islands.
Sunday’s earthquake, which despatched glass shattering from buildings, injured tons of and drove hundreds of vacationers to depart, was the worst on document to hit the vacation island of Lombok at a magnitude of 6.9. Only a week earlier, one other quake of magnitude 6.four, rocked the identical space, killing 17 individuals. In line with the U.S. Geological Survey, the islands have been experiencing aftershocks virtually day by day because the authentic quake, normally reaching a magnitude of at the least 5.zero.
WATCH: As earthquake restoration continues, authorities now look to humanitarian disaster on Lombok Island
“After the quake hit, it was sheer panic at our resort,” defined Lay, whose household is initially from Maple Ridge, B.C. “Lots of people at our resort had been simply frantic. They left straight away and bolted to their airport and flights had been all booked up inside a few minutes.”
The Lays, which embody Jennifer, her son Brody, her daughter Logan, and her husband Jared, couldn’t decide up and depart straight away as everybody else did. Their daughter Logan, 20, suffers from a mind tumour, and so they weren’t certain whether or not she would be capable to make the journey.
“We didn’t know what to do, as a result of now we have a baby with most cancers and there are quite a lot of issues that need to be regulated to ensure that her to be properly sufficient to journey, and considered one of them is operating fluids and meals by way of a tube, which she will get for at the least 12 hours a day, and we weren’t ready to try this for 2 days as a result of we had intermittent energy outages and evacuations,” Lay defined.
The Lays have been out of Canada for nearly six months thus far. Whereas travelling has all the time been an vital a part of their household life, they determined early this yr to drag their son Brody out of faculty for a “journey all over the world” when Logan’s most cancers got here again for the fourth time in 2016.
After preventing for over 13 years, Lay stated in an interview that they hadn’t been in a position to shrink Logan’s tumour as a lot as they hoped. She says that she and her husband thought, “If we might get her sturdy sufficient to do one thing actually superb along with her and our household earlier than which may not be an choice, then we wished to.”
So, they pulled the youngsters out of faculty, determined to not work for the yr and took off on a whirlwind journey by way of Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Thailand and ultimately Indonesia.
“We’ve been gone because the starting of this yr on a visit all over the world — bucket record, I assume you name it,” she stated.
As quickly as the primary quake hit, they contacted and registered with the Canadian consulate, who knowledgeable them that there have been no sources being provided to assist Canadians get off the island at the moment.
After weighing their choices, and sitting by way of over 100 aftershocks, the Lays determined to attempt to catch a ferry to the island of Bali early Wednesday morning, native time. Whereas solely about half of those that make it to the boat are in a position to board, Lay and her husband Jared knew they needed to attempt.
After a two-hour drive to the boat, a six-hour ferry trip and a two-hour drive to their resort in Bali, the Lays discovered themselves secure finally, however questioning how they survived such a life-altering expertise.
“The morning began off actually tough. We had been fearful that we weren’t going to make it, however we acquired her on the ferry and we acquired her right here so now she’s attached and it might take a few days to kind of get her levelled out, after which begin our trek again residence,” Lay defined.
After “sheer terror and survival for 36 hours straight,” the Lays had been lastly in a position to ponder their journey — questioning why they survived whereas others weren’t so fortunate.
“To reside by way of one thing like that after which stroll away from it, after which to place it into perspective with our personal state of affairs. We simply assume, what number of instances now we have been near demise after which, after which again. We had been joking this morning that we’re like cats.”
Spokespeople from Indonesia’s catastrophe mitigation company proceed to search for survivors, and counsel there could also be individuals nonetheless alive underneath the rubble.
“We don’t know for certain how many individuals are alive underneath the rubble,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for Indonesia’s catastrophe mitigation company (BNPB) instructed reporters in Jakarta.
“There are experiences … that there are individuals buried alive. It’s a essential time for instant evacuation,” he added, with out giving particulars.
Rescue groups have described “ghost cities,” or villages which have been utterly deserted within the wake of this tragedy, Matthew Cochrane of the Worldwide Federation of Pink Cross and Pink Crescent Societies stated in Geneva on Tuesday.
For these left behind, life has come to a grinding halt. Kids aren’t going to high school, adults can’t work and shops have all been closed.
“This quake paralyzed all the things,” stated a traumatized mom of two, 33-year-old Rafikah (full identify?), who spoke to the Related Press underneath a big blue tent perched on the identical area she has slept in along with her household because the 7.zero magnitude quake. “Our lives have simply stopped.”
Since Sunday’s quake, the variety of aftershocks has risen to over 300 and is predicted to extend. Officers from Indonesia additionally count on the demise toll to extend.
The Lays nonetheless, are heading to Bangkok, and after spending two days there, will likely be on a flight again residence to B.C. Regardless of a very terrifying expertise, Lay insists she wouldn’t change a factor.
“The sensation of feeling so uncontrolled and helpless shouldn’t be one thing that we’re strangers to,” she stated.
Lay emphasised that regardless of ending their ’round-the-world journey “with a bang,” she doesn’t need their last vacation spot to overshadow the superb experiences they’ve had over the previous six months.
“There’s been so many issues that now we have realized and that now we have skilled. This journey, regardless of all of its challenges — it’s definitely been laborious to journey with somebody with a life-threatening sickness – has virtually given us a little bit of freedom from our personal tragedy.”
Moreover, the Lay household’s travels aren’t over. In actual fact, Lay added, they’re already speaking about the place they’re going to go subsequent, and so they could even discover their manner again to Lombok sometime.
“We will’t change our circumstances – like being on an island that’s rocked with an earthquake – however we will change the best way we understand tragedy,” she concluded.
“In concern shouldn’t be a very good place to reside, proper?”
— With a file from the Related Press.
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