Indonesia Copes With Tsunami, Volcano Eruption
MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:
When a tsunami struck some Indonesian islands, this week, a man named Joey Melroy was on a boat at sea. Melroy works as a surf guide.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Once he rode out the waves, he took a look at the shore of the Mentawai Islands. Later, he took a phone call on his boat and told us what he saw.
Mr. JOEY MELROY (Surf Guide): A lot of trees and debris in the water. Just the smell of the earth as it washed out. A lot of dead fish. The coastline has been scrubbed clean. A place that used to be dense jungle, it looks like a bulldozer came through and just did laps around the island.
KELLY: We only have a partial idea of what damage has really been done. We do know that hundreds of people were killed.
INSKEEP: And that tsunami on Monday was followed by an Indonesian volcano that started erupting on Tuesday. John Pallister of the U.S. Volcano Disaster Assistance Program says this is pure coincidence. .
Mr. JOHN PALLISTER (U.S. Volcano Disaster Assistance Program): In this particular case, the volcano was already headed toward eruption before the earthquake took place and even had started erupting before the earthquake took place.
KELLY: Reporter Aubrey Belford of the International Herald Tribune is following both disasters.
Mr. AUBREY BELFORD (International Herald Tribune): While the fact that these happened so close to each other has shocked a lot of people abroad, in Indonesia, another natural disaster happening, it's really part of, I guess, daily life here.
INSKEEP: This is normal. The volcano has already displaced 40,000 people and it's erupting again today.