Tsunami carnage that grew to become unimaginable

Sian Powell; 26/12/09; (Anniversary)
An arm hung limply from the earth-mover’s massive metal scoop, a metal claw filled to the lip with the tsunami dead. Unknown body liquids dripped on to the baking tarmac. Mourning Indonesians cried and muttered verses of the Koran as they watched the big metal machine rumbling toward the mass grave on the outskirts of Banda Aceh city, ready to dump its terrible load. Not once, but again and again, the scoop was filled and emptied. Not only in the capital, but all over the Indonesian province of Aceh, the earthmovers and dumpsters, utes and tip-trucks, were at their grisly work, clearing the corpses. I stood next to a woman crying and shaking, her eyes following the earthmover, her hands raking at her white Islamic prayer robes. She told me her teenaged son had been missing since the morning the tsunami engulfed the city. She knew he was dead, and she wanted to pray for him. His body may have been among the anonymous tangled heaps of bodies dumped into the mass grave just a stone’s throw away, but she couldn’t go and see. Masked and armed police kept the mourners at bay, away from the stench of the already rotting flesh behind the hills of mud. “I just want to pray for him,” she said, with tears pouring down her face, turning to the east and lifting her arms to Allah.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-sound-a-survivor-cant-bear/story-e6frg6so-1225813668724; The sound a survivor can’t bear; Angus Hohenboken; 26/12/09; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-sound-a-survivor-cant-bear/story-e6frg6so-1225813668724; Sadness lingers for tsunami orphans; Ben Doherty; 26/12/09; http://www.theage.com.au/national/sadness-lingers-for-tsunami-orphans-20091225-lf2m.html; Doctors mount after-hours aid mission; Farah Farouque; 26/12/09; http://www.theage.com.au/national/doctors-mount-afterhours-aid-mission-20091225-lf2s.html; Back from the brink: the remarkable recovery of Aceh; Tim Hume; http://www.theage.com.au/world/back-from-the-brink-the-remarkable-recovery-of-aceh-20091225-lf0v.html; The forgotten and those who would rather forget; 26/12/09; http://www.smh.com.au/world/the-forgotten-and-those-who-would-rather-forget-20091225-lf1l.html;