Do you ever sit and wonder why you're here -- whether you have some bigger purpose on this planet, whether you're supposed to be here for some reason that's bigger than you? Well, there's an Indonesian family living in Japan who got that question answered loud and clear during last week's earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Doctoral student Zahrul Fuadi, 39, his wife, and two children narrowly escaped the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Sumatra by outrunning it on a motorcycle. And now, just over six years later and living in Sendai, Japan, the family once again survived a horrible catastrophe.
This is a family who's seriously meant to be here, no?
The Fuadis' house in Simpang Mesra village, Banda Aceh, was destroyed in the 2004 tsunami, which followed a 9.3-magnitude quake. Remembering back, Mr. Fuadi tells the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
We were at my house when the quake happened. Me, my wife, and my two children escaped from the tsunami by riding a motorcycle. We went very far from my house because we were so afraid.
Actually I'm more scared of tsunamis than earthquakes. I was running away from the Aceh tsunami back then and thinking that was the end of the world.
The Fuadi family has been living in Sendai since Mr. Fuadi, a faculty member at Syah Kuala University in Banda Aceh, received a scholarship to complete his doctorate at Tohoku University in Sendai. By luck of the draw, the Tohuku campus is located about 12 miles from the coast and on higher ground, so his family were spared from the bulk of the damage there. They survived their second tsunami in just six years' time!
After the tsunami in Japan, Mr. Fuadi and his family flew back to Aceh, but they plan to return to Sendai. But now, he says, he's worried about nuclear radiation. I don't know, Mr. Fuadi, I'm pretty sure someone has your back.
Have you or anyone you've known survived double disasters?
Image via Official U.S. Navy Imagery/Flickr