Imagine you are 105 years old living close to the sea when a tsunami struck.
What would be running through your mind then? Would you think you will ever survive the might of a destructive big waves sweeping through your village?
Hilda Kopsi is the oldest person in the village of Nea on Santa Cruz island, one of the hardest hit communities when the deadly tsunami hit the island on February 6.
She could hardly believe that she had survived the disaster, which killed 10 people.
Hilda was at her home when the magnitude 8.0 earthquake shook. When she feltl the earth and her little leaf hut shaking, she came out into the open to see what’s happening. But she never thought of anything such as a tsunami.
She did not even think about whether this would possibly be her last day on earth.
“I came out of my house when the quake shook and look outside. The last thing I could ever remember was that I was hit by a wave,” Hilda told me at her village.
She was struck by the wave and pushed her inland through all kinds of debris. She said she could not think of a thing.
She got stuck to a tree root, with only her head above the water mark.
“That’s the only time I knew my life will be gone because what can an old woman like me do to try and swim or even pull myself out from the tree root?
“I don’t have any strength to do anything.
“The only thing I did then was called the name of the Almighty father ‘God’ and my mother,” Hilda said.
She was just so fortunate that her nephew, Lazarus, was nearby, who swam to where she got stuck and rescued her.