Earthquake Update: The Aftermath in Penang

I just got off the phone with my nephew who stays with his family at the Pulau Betong fishing village near Balik Pulau. That area was hit by tsunamis subsequent to the earthquake off Sumatra this morning. His father and brother are both fishermen. Luckily they were not out at sea when the massive waves struck. His brother however lost his moored boat which sank after the incident. I am relieved that they are all safe. However there were unverified reports from my cousin Peter who is currently in Balik Pulau that the coastal villages there were badly affected – houses and buildings were damaged, lives were lost and many more injured or still missing.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

21 thoughts on “Earthquake Update: The Aftermath in Penang”

  1. Glad to hear that your family is okay. A boat can be replaced, so murn the loss for a while but keep going. Have great holidays, nevertheless 🙂

  2. I pray that these people will return safely to their homes. Disasters like these are not common in this country. I hope that the authorities are geared up to handle emergencies swiftly and efficiently. God knows emergency services in this country leaves much to be desired.

  3. Andreas,
    Thank you for your concern. Yes, that was what I told my nephew. As long as everyone in his family is safe, they should be thankful.

    My guess is that the emergency services were stretched to their limit, especially the Balik Pulau district where many fishing villages were affected.

  4. Dee,
    Lets pray that the injured will recover fast and those who lost loved ones will find peace and consolation.

  5. Glad that your family is okay. As I write, I have friends stranded in Sri Lanka & Maldives, who have been uncontactable since yesterday. I can just pray for their safety.

  6. Mel,
    There is nothing much was can do except pray and hope for the best. I hope your friends are safe.

  7. Peter,iwish all of the people of Penang safe and well,having been many times to the fishing village,staying at batu ferringhi,i cannot believe this has happened,but once again may someone be looking after all the people involved in this tradgerdy

  8. Kevin,
    I believe their plight is being looked after by the authorities and NGOs concerned.

  9. Hi, I wanted to ask if anyone else heard this report I heard on the BBC. It was reported that the United Nations medical teams are allowing survivors of the tsunami to die in order to exaggerate the affect of the tsunami. Thousands of people who were found alive were never rescued and allowed to die.

  10. Jen,
    Please verify your facts first before posting anything like this. These are the kind of rumours that will hamper relief efforts.


    “This event is easy for scientists to explain, but very hard for
    theologians to explain,” said a Jewish rabbi. “God has knowledge, and
    God controls the universe, but the question is: ‘To what extent?’ ”

    The tsunami may be part of a huge divine plan humans are too frail to
    understand, said an Islamic preacher. “We can’t fathom the wisdom of
    the creator,” he said. “We have to bring out the positive humanity in
    all of us and try to help instead of questioning the scheme of

    The world has been an imperfect place since Adam and Eve betrayed God
    and were forced out of the Garden of Eden, said a Christian pastor.
    So tsunamis happen, people get cancer, accidents occur. “The hardest
    thing for all of us to live with is the suffering that goes on in the
    world. These are forces of nature that happen, and we accept them in
    our lives. The Christian reaction should be, ‘How do I use this to
    return to the Lord and rectify my life?’ ”

    Hindu and Buddhist philosophies are more accepting of the potential of
    natural disaster than are Jeiwsh, Christian or Moslem theologies.

    “There are things that are going to happen that are not going to be so
    pleasant, but that is just part of totality,” said a Hindu teacher.
    “We pray in these sad events to console the departed soul and the
    families and hope that the next journey will be more pleasant than
    this one.”

    The leader of a Buddhist Association said:
    “We will pray and chant for the people who are suffering and for those
    who have died.” She said the disaster reinforces the Buddhist
    philosophy that nothing is permanent.

    “These are forces of nature that happen, and we accept them in our
    lives,” he said. “The Christian reaction should be, ‘How do I use this
    to return to the Lord and rectify my life?’ “

  12. we stayed at the golden sands resort on batu ferringhi in july last year. we hope our friends, who were looking after us working at the pool bar, (Razib and Nazri) are safe along with their families. Razib had a car accident the day before we left & we didn’t get a chance to see him. any news will be welcomed.

  13. Lauren,
    I am sorry I cannot provide any information regarding your friends here. I hope they are safe. Take care.

  14. I am commenting on jen h.’s post about the bbc report.i heard the same report. it was on the bbc world news report on pbs. it ran once but i didnt hear about it again untill now.

  15. Paul,
    There are also millions who are doing their part in helping the survivors and millions who are being helped. Lets focus on that.

  16. Dear Blog,
    On Thursday the B.B.C. reported the suspected murder of thousands of survivors to inflate the numbers of dead from the tsunamis. After some pressure from the United Nations, the B.B.C. retracted the report, stating that the report was false. They said that the reports were merely rebels that were mistaken to be UN workers. Since the retraction, the U.S. networks were advised not to air such a report for it was false. Since then, only the Borobudur TV station in Indonesia has reported it. The international Red Cross is investigating the reports. But many rescue workers have been reporting dead that have been found either shot or strangled. This is what the guys who have been posting the B.B.C. reports have been talking about.

  17. Adam,
    This is not the correct place to dessimintate information like this. See your political representatives and ask them to take up this issue with the international organisattions concerned.

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