Without Warning

Aesih Irawan was drinking iced tea at a friend's house near the beach in Pangandaran, a resort town on the Indonesian island of Java, when the ocean crashed through the living room. The 27-year-old housewife was seized by the churning water and carried hundreds of meters down the beach before she became tangled in cable, which prevented her being swept out to sea. Irawan survived, but almost 700 people were killed, nearly 1,000 injured and some 20,000 families left homeless by the July 17 tsunami that hit a 177-km stretch of Java. Triggered by a magnitude-7.7 undersea earthquake about 200 km...

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