Singer of Band Swept Away in Indonesia Tsunami Posts Emotional Tribute to Wife, Bandmates

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
December 23, 2018World News

Riefian Fajarsyah, the singer of Indonesian pop band Seventeen, released an emotional statement after bandmates were washed away during a tsunami on Dec. 22.

“Bro @andi_seventeen, please come back home. I am the only one left,” Fajarsyah wrote of his drummer, Windu Andi Darmawan, reported The Telegraph.

He also pleaded for the safe return of his wife, Dylan Sahara, whose 26th birthday was Dec. 23.

“Today is your birthday. I want to say happy birthday to you in person. Please come back home quickly, my dear @Dylan_Sahara,” he wrote on social media.

Seventeen, a popular band in Indonesia, was in the middle of their second song during a set on Dec. 22 when the tsunami slammed into their stage. Video footage shows a crowd attempting to disperse amid screams.

Fajarsyah said he didn’t know what hit him, suddenly finding himself in the ocean water.

“I didn’t think I could make to the beach line. I feel I am really in the sea and about to die,” he said. As he was floating out in the water, he prayed that others would survive as he tried to reach shore.

He was unable to swim against the torrent of water until he was hit by a box. He used the floating box to swim to a tree, but he noted there were “probably around 20 to 24 corpses” in the water, the Telegraph reported.

After the water receded a half an hour later, Fajarsyah climbed down from the tree and apparently suffered undisclosed injuries. He began searching for his wife and bandmates. “I have to find my band family as well as my wife,” he said.

a broken jet ski in Indonesia
A broken jet ski is seen among debris after a tsunami hit Tanjung Lesung beach in Banten, Indonesia, Dec. 23, 2018.(Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/ via Reuters)

During the search, he found his bassist, Muhammad Awal Nurbani, dead on the beach.  He helped move his body before he was taken to a medical clinic.

Later, while in the clinic, he learned his road manager, Oki Wijaya, died, the paper reported. He was also informed that the band’s guitarist, named Herman, also died.

“The water washed away the stage, which was located very close to the sea,” the band said in a statement obtained by Reuters. “The water rose and dragged away everyone at the location. We have lost loved ones, including our bassist and manager … and others are missing.”

Reuters reported four of the musicians from the band were killed along with 29 PLN employees and relatives. PLN organized the concert.

residents collect debris after tsunami
Residents collect debris from their collapsed house after it was hit by a tsunami at Panimbang District in Pandeglang, Banten Province, Indonesia, on Dec. 22, 2018.
(Muhammad Bagus Khoirunas/Antara Foto/ via Reuters)

More than 220 people died and hundreds more people were injured in the tsunami, which officials believe was triggered by an underwater landslide caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20 meters (49-65 feet) inland. Next wave entered the hotel area where I was staying and downed cars on the road behind it,” Oystein Lund Andersen, a tourist, said on Facebook, according to the news outlet.

I then “managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground through forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of by the locals,” according to his account.

President Joko Widodo also said on Twitter that he “ordered all relevant government agencies to immediately take emergency response steps, find victims, and care for the injured.”

From The Epoch Times

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