Mulyana, a 24-year-old housewife, had just sat down to a wedding party Sunday morning when the tsunami struck. She ran and held onto a coconut tree. But the water pulled her away anyway, far out to sea.She was finally rescued after four hours. How many people have been (or still are) clinging to debris in the ocean?
"I was alone in the middle of the ocean," she said from her hospital bed here in this town on the northeastern coast of Aceh province, the area hardest hit the disaster. "I was afraid of being pulled all the way to India," she said.
Mulyana, who cannot swim, clung to a coconut tree floating nearby and held on to it. After a few hours, she said, she saw boats and tried to scream and wave at them, but they couldn't see or hear her.
The linked article also notes the large numbers of small islands near Sumatra that have not been heard from yet and where the destruction may be worse than in the places we have heard from.