That’s a shady noon actually, when a huge earthquake shook my home very hard. I and all my family immediately went out of the home looking for a safer place to take shelter. As soon as three minutes passed, that shake began to stop, but people’s scream, however, didn’t. They continued screaming and shouting as they saw a big building in which hundred students used to live collapsed into ruins. Yup, that 7.3 scale Richter earthquake had successfully destroyed a dormitory and had damaged some other buildings.
This strain didn’t suddenly stop. I heard many people and children cry and scream hysterically. The crowd of people included boys, girls, men, women ran hither and thither as they were afraid of the possibly upcoming earthquake. My father, the vice headmaster of Pesantren, then instructed all students to take shelter in deserted rice field. He argued that if the earthquake occurred for the second time, the ruins of the building wouldn’t attack the students taking shelter in the rice field.
The victims, then, fell down. There were three students who broke their legs as they jumped from the second floor of the collapsed dormitory. There was a student who injured his head after being attacked by the ruin of the collapsed wall. The others were some girls who couldn’t restrain from this shocking disaster. I couldn’t bear to hear their continuing cries and screams.
The strain became more seriously when the upcoming earthquake really occurred for the second time. The earth shook for several times. The girls and children cried and screamed louder. Some others mentioned God’s name for several times, ‘Allahu-Akbar, La-Ilaaha illa-Allah’. I my self thought that no one would be able to save me, but Allah the Almighty.
Eventually, the circumstance became quieter, when all people were assured that the upcoming earthquake really stopped. The injured victims were brought up to the nearby hospital. The students were instructed to call their parents and go home even they still had upcoming five days before they had Ramadhan vacation. However, some students coming from the distant regions remained here till the next day. Some aids from the related institution came step-by-step. That night, none of us was brave enough to sleep inside the building. They spent their night under the shelter of the tents that were built up by some soldiers.
Before this disastrous earthquake, there were plans, hopes and agendas in students’ shoulders. Students’ Organization staff planned to hold an Unforgettable Muwada’ah [farewell] Night in the last day of Ramadhan activities. Some students prepared themselves to perform some attractive performances in Muwada’ah Night, while some others planned to hold fast breaking together. I and all crews of students’ magazine planned to publish a special edition of students’ magazine in case of students’ return to their houses.
These hopes and plans easily evaporated as soon as this earthquake destroyed our school. All students should go back before its time and these hopes must be postponed till the unknown time. That’s actually a way God examined us.
Condong, 21 Ramadhan 1430 17:19