The front man of an Indonesian pop group whose saw three of his bandmates killed when their gig was torn apart by a tsunami buried his wife on Tuesday after she also died at the event.
Riefian Fajarsyah posted an emotional tribute to wife Dylan Sahara on Instagram on Tuesday, alongside a video which showed him stroking her coffin. Another photo of her was captioned: ‘How can I live without you?’
Sahara was in a crowd of 200 on Tanjung Lesung beach on Saturday as Fajarsyah’s band Seventeen performed when a 20ft wall of water smashed into the crowd around 9.30pm. It was a day before Sahara’s 26th birthday.
Also killed were bassist M. Awal ‘Bani’ Purbani, guitarist Herman Sikumbang, road manager Oki Wijaya and another crew member, whose funerals were held on Monday. The band’s drummer, who has not been named, also died.
Riefian Fajarsyah buried wife Dylan Sahara (pictured together) on Tuesday, three days after a tsunami ripped through the gig venue where his band Seventeen were performing in Indonesia
Dylan was in the audience watching her boyfriend perform on the day before her 26th birthday when the wave hit, also killing three other members of the band
Riefian posted tributes to his wife on Instagram on Tuesday, one of which showed him touching her coffin along with the caption ‘let’s go home (left). Another showed a picture of her with the caption: ‘How can I live without you?’
Riefian attended funerals for two of his bandmates on Monday before his wife’s body was identified that evening, before a funeral was held on Tuesday
Dylan was the daughter of a prominent Indonesian politician, an actress and TV personality in her own right, and was gearing up to run for office in next year’s elections
In another online post, Fajarsyah said: ‘Thank you guys for your prayers. Only God can repay your kindness. Please send prayers for my wife Dylan so she will be at peace.’
Sahara – who was running for a parliament seat in next year’s elections – was identified at a hospital late Monday, according to Indonesian media.
The 25-year-old was the daughter of a well-known Indonesian politician and an actress and TV personality in her own right.
‘(She) was not perfect and neither am I, but she never stopped trying to be the best wife,’ Fajarsyah said in his emotional online tribute. ‘I could not ask for more.’
Tens of thousands of sympathetic messages were posted to Fajarsyah’s social media accounts Tuesday, including from celebrities and politicians.
‘Deepest condolences bro. May you have strength and patience and may your wife be granted the best place alongside God,’ famous Indonesian singer Judika wrote online.
Fajarsyah, 35, was the only surviving member of Seventeen, which has released a half dozen albums and commands a large fan base in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
With no warning, the powerful, volcano-triggered tsunami swept over popular beaches on southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java and inundated tourist hotels and coastal settlements.
Riefian previously posted a video of himself wearing a Seventeen top and crying as he told followers that his band members had been killed in the tsunami
Riefian (centre) is now the only surviving member of Seventeen, after the other three died in the natural disaster
Instruments and mixing equipment being used by the band are loaded into a truck after being destroyed in the tsunami
Sahara’s funeral was held as Indonesian officials increased the death toll to 429 overnight on Monday as 128 people remained missing following the disaster.
Search and rescue efforts will continue until Sunday, police said, but officials admitted there was little chance of finding anyone else alive.
Efforts will now turn to providing medical aid for the 1,400 injured by the tidal wave triggered by an eruption at the ‘Child of Krakatoa’ volcano on Saturday, and finding shelter for the 16,000 whose homes were destroyed.
But torrential rain was hampering those efforts on Christmas Day, making searches difficult and hindering ambulances brought in to take dead bodies out of the disaster zone.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia Disaster Mitigation Agency, said there was an urgent need for heavy equipment in remote Sumur subdistrict, a hard-to-reach area near Ujung Kulon National Park that experienced heavy damage.
Some villages there have been cut off due to damaged roads and bridges, making it difficult to supply aid and help people who may be injured or trapped.
Military troops, government personnel and volunteers were searching along debris-strewn beaches. Where victims were found, yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead.
Chunks of broken concrete and splintered wood littered the coast where hundreds of homes and hotels had stood.
The death toll from the Indonesia tsunami rose to 429 overnight on Monday as search efforts continued, but officials privately admitted that there was little chance of finding anyone else alive
Aid is now desperately needed to help the 1,400 people injured in the disaster along with shelter for 16,000 who fled their homes after the tsunami struck on Saturday
Parts of a damaged ride are seen at a amusement park after it was hit by a tsunami at the Sumber Jaya village in Sumur
Fire and ash: An aerial view of the volcano on Sunday morning after the eruption which sent a wall of water slamming into the shore, in a natural disaster which has killed 281 people
More than 1,000 people are also reported injured after a giant wave destroyed hundreds of homes, hotels and businesses along tourist beaches in Java and Sumatra on Saturday
The waves followed an eruption and apparent landslide on Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa,” a volcanic island that formed in the early part of the 20th century near the site of the cataclysmic 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who faces what promises to be a tough re-election campaign next year, vowed to have all tsunami-detection equipment replaced or repaired.
Nugroho acknowledged on Twitter that the country’s network of detection buoys had been out of order since 2012 because of vandalism and budget shortfalls.
But the head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said the tsunami was likely caused by Krakatau’s volcanic activity and so could not have been picked up by the agency’s sensors, which monitor conventional earthquakes responsible for more than 90 percent of Indonesia’s tsunamis.
Karnawati said the tsunami was probably caused by the collapse of a big section of the volcano’s slope.
Anak Krakatau been erupting since June and did so again 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said. Other scientists have said an underwater landslide may also have contributed to the disaster.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and home to 260 million people, lies along the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.