Medicine Hat couple thankful to get out of earthquake stricken Indonesia alive

By Leah Murray
August 9, 2018 - 5:16pm Updated: August 9, 2018 - 7:07pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB - A couple from Medicine Hat on a dream vacation to Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, have been dealing with a nightmare situation.

On Sunday night a huge 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck near the Island of Lombok in Indonesia.

Kendal Collier and her husband Leonard Anstey were in the nearby Gili Islands when it hit. They were having dinner at a bar when everything started to shake and people began to panic.

“Everyone started running and screaming and jumping,” Collier explained over a Facebook Messenger video conversation, from Bangkok Thailand. “When they were running out of the building to get out of the bar, people were falling and everyone was stepping on top of each other. It was so scary.”

More than 100 people were killed in the quake, many were trapped under buildings that collapsed in the shaking.

“Somebody died right in front of us,” Collier said. “We [saw] people injured and buildings toppled over and glass everywhere.”

The couple made their way to the beach with hundreds of others, hoping to get on a boat and head to safety.

“People were fighting each other to get on these boats, and I get it because we’re all scared, but even the captains of the boats, they were pushing us away and kicking us away and yelling.” Collier explained.

“I thought we were going to die for sure,” said Anstey “You ask the locals what to do and they don’t even know themselves, they’re all running frantic everywhere.”

The couple has made some friends on the island who had chartered a helicopter to get back to Lombok Island. They hitched a ride, but were forced to give the pilot all the money they were carrying.

They made it to Lombok and eventually caught a flight to Bangkok, Thailand before another 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck near Lombok, on Thursday.

The death toll from the quakes has grown to more than 300.

Collier and Anstey were glad to have made it out alive and relatively unscathed.

“I looked on the news just today and they had another earthquake,” said Anstey. “So, I’m very happy we’re away from all that.”

“It doesn't seem real,” said Collier. “You watch this in movies or on TV and you think 'Oh my goodness, it would never happen to me,' but here we are.”

The pair are heading back to Medicine Hat on August 12th, and say they can't wait to get home and reunite with their families.

Local businesses busy with customers looking to stay cool during the heatwave