Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin shares stories from his visit to Banda Aceh 10 years after it was hit by tsunami

(From left) Mr Tan Chuan-Jin and tsunami survivors Alina and Salmi in a village near Banda Aceh on Nov 24, 2014. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF TAN CHUAN-JIN
(From left) Mr Tan Chuan-Jin and tsunami survivors Alina and Salmi in a village near Banda Aceh on Nov 24, 2014. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF TAN CHUAN-JIN

When the tsunami hit Banda Aceh on Dec 26, 2004, Salmi was away at school and escaped the killer wave. But nine members of her family died, together with 982 others from her village of over a thousand people. 

Salmi, who now works as a guide, was one of the survivors Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin met on Monday during his ongoing visit to Banda Aceh. Ten years ago, he landed as an army colonel in the city as part of a humanitarian and disaster relief operation team from Singapore.

 

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Mr Tan also visited the Baidur Rahman Grand Mosque and recounted his memories of "mosques and their minarets standing amidst the destruction".

"Built of concrete and with solid foundations, they were not swept away like many of the wooden structures in the towns and villages," he wrote.

 

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Mr Tan played a significant role in Operation Flying Eagle, Singapore's largest-ever humanitarian and disaster relief operation. He was commander of the Humanitarian Assistance Support Group in Meulaboh, one of the worst-hit coastal towns.

 

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Readers can see more updates from Mr Tan's visit on his Facebook page

 

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