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Last Updated: Monday, 3 January, 2005, 10:13 GMT
'The boat started shaking'
The BBC's Rachel Harvey has met a fisherman in the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh who survived the tsunami.

Anwar was out at sea in his tiny fishing boat when the earthquake struck.

This is his story:

I had gone out fishing after morning prayers. I had been out at sea for about an hour and a half when the earthquake struck.

The boat started shaking. Not long after that the waves got bigger - and the sea turned white with foam.

Banda Aceh, Indonesia
'Everything was flat. All the houses had gone'

Then I saw that the bridge on the mainland had disappeared. Everywhere was covered with water.

Suddenly a huge wave came towards me, so I turned towards it and really revved my engine.

Somehow I managed to get over it. I don't know how. If I hadn't done that, I would have been tipped over.

The wave was more than 10m high.

When I was over the wave I looked back. Everything was flat. All the houses had gone.

I was so scared. I just sailed around. I was too frightened to go back to land.

'Nothing left'

But around four o'clock, when everything had calmed down, I did go ashore.

Waves carried boats into the heart of the city

I saw so many people among the debris, just crying for help. I took about 10 of them in my boat. I couldn't find my family.

At about five o'clock I got back on land. The water had already started to go down. I saw dead bodies everywhere on the street.

I went back to my village. There was nothing left. I lost 11 members of my family.

My home used to be close to the sea. Now it's completely destroyed. You can't even see where it was.

Aceh aid operation gets into gear
01 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Eerie quiet in Aceh
01 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific


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