The group enjoying their vacation before the earthquake hit.
The group enjoying their vacation before the earthquake hit. Contributed

'Masses of people panicking': Coffs mum caught in earthquake

"THE restaurant next to us had been completely flattened - I remember thinking 'oh God, what if there is a wave," recalls Coffs Coast mother Angela Davies.

"It's a really, really scary feeling to not be able to protect your own child."

Recovering in the aftermath of Sunday's deadly 7 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia, Ms Davies has described how her and 6-year-old son Jude escaped the devastating event which has so far claimed almost 100 lives.

Ms Daviez had travelled to the Gili Islands for a vacation with a group of friends, which included bass guitarist for Grinspoon Joe Hansen, Reve and Carmel Debruil from Red Rock, Mick Steele, Kristelle Innes, Kellie and Dan Brown and children Jude, Reve, Madden and Mason.

 

Coffs Harbour mum Angela Daviez.
Coffs Harbour mum Angela Daviez. Facebook

The group are currently safe and recovering in Bali, however Ms Daviez said some of her friends are still stranded in Gili.

She said their tour guide had lost his entire family in the earthquake.

"We started out our holiday in Gili, just off Lombok. It was after dark when we all settled in and decided to go to a cafe down the road from the hotel for dinner.

"We'd finished ordering and we were sitting there talking, having a few cocktails, when all of a sudden everything started to shake.

"We all just looked at each other. It felt like someone was just grabbing the entire earth and shaking it. Everyone was screaming."

Ms Daviez said her son, Jude, attempted to run out of the building before they hid beneath the safety of a table.

"My friend was screaming for us to get under the table, so I ran and grabbed him. We jumped under and waited for what felt like 5 hours but was probably just 30 seconds.

"Everything was crashing around us, all we could hear was a deep rumbling noise."

Ms Daviez said Joe Hansen was forced to hold up a wall from crashing onto the table.

"He didn't get under the table, he was actually holding a wall up so it didn't flatten us.

"Then there was just a lot of silence afterwards."

 

After the earthquake hit, at the restaurant the group were eating dinner at.
After the earthquake hit, at the restaurant where Angela Daviez and her friends were having dinner. Angela Daviez

Following the quake the group, including the children, ran out into the street where it was decided they would retreat to the hotel, which is about 30m above sea level, in case a wave was about to follow.

"There were masses of people panicking and running. I ran with my son as fast as we could.

"My son's father died from melanoma when he was only 8 months old. The whole time all I could think was 'Oh God - I'm the only one he has left.'

"We got to the hotel and waited there. There were just people screaming and running everywhere. Everyone came to the hotel because it was a high place close to the town.

"We sat there not really knowing what to do. Should we go higher? We were trying to remain calm because we had children with us.

"It felt like it almost wasn't real, it's just unbelievable to be in a situation like that."

Around 150 people camped on the driveway of the resort, bringing mattresses from the hotel outside.

"We put the kids to bed, just waiting for a tsunami or aftershocks.

"For the rest of the night the ground felt very unstable, it was like we were standing on the ocean."

 

The group enjoying the waterfalls the day of the earthquake.
The group enjoying the waterfalls the day of the earthquake. Angela Daviez

The group managed to catch a ferry to Bali around 8.30am the next morning and are currently staying in Seminyak.

Ms Daviez will be flying back to Australia on Thursday.

"We're so lucky we left when we did. Our friends are still there, trying to get out. They've lived there for 10 years and they said there's just looting, raping, people with guns."

She said the children have been faring well since the earthquake.

"The kids have been amazing. My son's almost changed and has a new perspective on life from it. The three other children as well, they're all resilient."

To help rebuild the Gili Islands, click here.