Once again our neighbor Indonesia is wrapped asunder with a volcano Merapi near Jogjakarta blowing its top and Matawai Islands on the west coast of Sumatra swept by a 16 foot tsunami within 24 hours of each other. With a 7.7 magnitude earthquake the tsunami has claimed no less than 400 dead so far. Merapi claimed its toll too including an 83 year old man named Maridjan who was entrusted to watch over the 'spirits' of the volcano.
Associated Press has now apologised for wrongly reporting that Maridjan had thrown rice and chicken into the burning cauldron to appease the 'spirits'. Beliefs and traditions do not necessarily mean people living near Merapi have not trusted seismologist or the government officials but sensationalising such happening and wrongly too has done its damage. Living for years along the fertile foothills of Merapi, farmers and dwellers would definitely harbor constraints to leave their homes and livelihood. Like Maridjan they too would stay to the last moment. Only they were too late this time. No doubt another Maridjan will surface, giving strength to the dwellers who will return to the slopes when the mountain stop spewing molten lava and ashes.
Back at home a turn over bus accident with two dead passengers so far at the Karak Highway is claimed as the headline news.
Surely we are grateful to Allah for preventing great disasters from occurring in our country. Yes we need to realize the bounty and safety we acquire in relation to the neighboring nations.