Ribut Greg - Greg Storm Hit Sabah Memory.

I was going to talk about Orchids festival, but then I watched this movie with my family just now called Into The Storm. I've watched that like last year when it came out in the cinema and most likely already talk about it before.

I remember something when I watched this movie. I remember one tragedy that cost so many lives in Sabah. Years ago. It's deadlier than the recent earthquake incident. It was Greg Storm Tragedy. You may found out about this tragedy when you google it. Try Ribut Greg as a keyword.

Most people in Sabah do not want to talk about this tragedy. It was sad. Most new generation do not even know about this tragedy. I've asked a few people in my workplace and only a few of them remember this thing, the rest, were still a too young to remember or not yet born at that time.

It happen on 26 Disember 1996. Everyone had their experience when it happen. Those in Tambunan, lost lot of loves one when this storm hit their area very, very, hard. Hundreds if not thousand people die...

Where Am I at that time? Well, one place you never wanted to be when a big storm like that happen, on the sea.

My family were travelling to Brunei from Labuan. We were poor at that time but somehow we were on vacation, a family vacation that happen only once in  a while. We were planning to stay in our relatives in Brunei and to go visit Jerudong Park in Brunei. Trust me, we do not even have money for hotel at that time.

It was a rainy morning, we went out from our house as early as 6 o'clock in the morning. The ferry to Brunei departed at maybe 7 o'clock. I could not remember much details but I will never forgot that experienced. The boat was shaky from the beginning we went in. What is the worse thing that could happen, a bit of waves and turbulent maybe..nobody was expecting a big storm like that.

Social media was none and we do not even have cellphone. It may not yet exist. So we were not aware of the storm that hit hard the night before and the storm was still there in the morning. Our departed as usual and after a few minutes, it started to get shaky really hard.

When the boat begins lifting 45 degree on the sea surface, everybody started shouting. Then it became 50 degree. For almost 1 hour, it was very very shaky. When it became 90 degree, people start praying. I can see everyone arounds me start praying and some crying. The boat crew was holding something to keep him standing and another one keeps counting the numbers of passenger. Maybe, it easier to rescue missing passenger if they knew exactly how many people to rescue.

I was holding the seat in front of me tightly. As if I am going to die that day, I just closed my eyes and every time the boat went up 90 degree, in a few second it hit back the water with a tremendous force and loud bang..

I was scared. Seriously, I am only 10 years old kid and I seriously did not want to die that day. I did not know how to swim, I was really afraid.

We make it to Brunei, thanks to God almighty. As a kid, my fear went off very easily. I did not know what happen actually. We still went and visit Jerudong park that night and if I am not mistaken went back to Labuan 2 days later to find that every tree was pulled out from the ground near our house. Yes, the tree was pulled out, not just crack and crash.

Just after arrived in back in Labuan we manage to watch TV ( the only source of information ) to see what we were facing when were on that ferry.

I will never forgot Greg Tropical Storm. It should be remembered. 26 December should be a day we remember those that we have lost. It was a sad day for Sabah.

Or maybe we should just forget it. It was a painful memory..... I will not forget it. I still afraid to travel on ferry until today.....


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