Two members of the boy band Seventeen, along with two crew members and the wife of lead singer Riefian ‘Ifan’ Fajarsyah, were left dead or missing after their set was interrupted by a 20-foot wave.
The band was performing at the Tanjung Lesung beach for employees and family of the state electricity utility, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) when the tsunami struck. Massive waves originating from the underwater landslide caused by the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano began buffeting the Indonesian beaches, VT. reports.
At least 168 people were killed in the tsunami, and more than 700 injuries have been reported.
“[We] lost Bani and our road manager Oki,” Ifan posted to Instagram in an emotional plea. “Andi [drummer] and Herman [guitar] and Ujang [crew] have not been found. Please pray so that my wife Dylan [Dylan Sahara] will be found soon. The rest are thankfully safe although suffering from injuries and broken bones.”
Seventeen crew member Zack was able to survive the tsunami by clinging to pieces of the destroyed stage.
“Underwater I could only pray ‘Jesus Christ help!,’” he wrote on Instagram. “In the final seconds I almost ran out of breath.”
Ifan himself was washed out to the Sunda Strait before police were able to rescue him and bring him back to shore.
“Most of us, I and our manager are on the shore, including myself, when I was thrown into the middle of the sea, there were probably around 20 to 24 corpses around me,” he said. “Evacuation is very slow because there are many roads cut off and bad weather, heavy rain.”
Soon after Ifan’s post, Awal ‘Bani’ Purbani, road manager Oki Wijaya, guitarist Herman Sikumbang, and crew member Ujang, were found dead. The remaining band members were never found, though the body of Ifan’s wife was identified in a hospital on Christmas Eve.
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No baby no, I’m the one who said thank you for accepting me as your husband, dengan semua kekuranganku, dengan semua keterbatasanku, dengan semua ketidakmampuanku. Since I’m with you, i become the best version of me, and you are the one who made that Ohh baby no matter how clumsy or messy you are, even now when you are not being with me, i will always love you baby, with no time limit ❤️ • Reposting my wife @dylan_sahara • I don’t always look good. My hair Isn’t always look cute and it’s often dyed a strange color I’m clumsy, many times. I may seem like I’m always mad at you, but I promise I’m not. You make me happier than everyone else ever has. Thank you for holding my hand and proving that good men do still exist. And most of all, I thank the Lord for making you my husband. 😘❤️ @ifanseventeen
By Christmas, the storm had destroyed 500 houses, nine hotels, and 350 boats. That day, Ifan said goodbye to his wife of two years, Indonesian actress and TV personality Sahara. He posted a picture of her coffin on Instagram, with a caption: “How can I live without you?”
See how the disaster took place in the chilling video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.