‘I tried to run but the waves swallowed me’: three days on from the Indonesia tsunami

As the army searches for survivors and the death toll rises, locals try to come to terms with the devastation and prepare for rebuilding

All 106 of the bodies had been cleared, but signs of Saturday’s party at Java’s Tanjung Lesung beach resort remained.

It was in this spot that the pop band Seventeen were playing their music to fans and revellers when Saturday’s tsunami smashed through. Now, crumpled metal stage supports intertwined with broken chairs overlook the Sunda Strait, on the west coast of Indonesia’s Banten province, from where the tsunami emerged to wash away the crowd. Soldiers on survivor search duty, some with sniffer dogs, walked past empty dented musical instrument cases. Drones buzzed overhead as one policeman quietly admitted that he would be amazed if more survivors were found.

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