Muslims prayed facing out to the sea Friday and by crumbling mosques in an Indonesian region pummelled by a quake-tsunami, putting their faith in God to help on the road to recovery.
Worshippers wearing skullcaps gathered by the coast in the city of Palu, ground zero of the tragedy in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, and chanted before sending prayers out to the waters.
In the city’s shattered Baiturrahman mosque — whose green dome collapsed into the prayer hall — 62-year-old Adan Abdurazak stood in tears in the place of worship where he had said his Friday prayers every week for the past 15 years.
“I’m still confused,” he said, when asked where he will pray now.
Friday is the holiest day of the week for followers of Islam the world over, but this week’s prayers around Palu took on a special significance following the double calamity that has killed over 1,500 people and razed whole neighbourhoods.
About 200 of the faithful held prayers on carpets in the car park of one mosque in the city, whose minarets survived the catastrophe intact but which is covered in huge cracks.
Chunks of latticework appeared ready to fall off, as aftershocks continue to rock the region.
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Further up the coast in Donggala, which was close to the epicentre of the quake and also suffered substantial damage, about 200 men gathered at a mosque.
“We feel a bit relieved because there’s no sign of another tsunami,” Irham Hassan, 50, told AFP.
“But we still haven’t returned to our homes.”
About 90 percent of Indonesia’s 260 million people follow Islam.