Jet Li and His Family
Faced the Deadliest Tsunami in 2004
The earthquake was so powerful that it caused our entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimeter, which doesn’t seem like much. But it literally shook the world to its very core as the shift of mass and massive release of energy actually altered our planet’s rotation, shortening the length of a day by 2.68 microseconds.
More significantly, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, it claimed 227,898 lives in fourteen countries. Indonesia was the worst affected area as they had nearly 75 percent of the total death toll count. The tsunami waves there, specifically off the western coast of Aceh in Sumatra, were as high as 100 feet.
Meanwhile, the night before while tragedy still loomed on the horizon, Jet Li, his wife Nina, and two daughters Jada and Jane who, at the time, were one and four years old arrived at a Four Seasons hotel in the Maldives. The next morning, he and his daughters head out to frolic at the beach along with their nanny while Nina stayed in their hotel room. All was well until suddenly the tsunami’s waves reached them with swift vigor.
“In that instant, the water rose to my knees,” Jet Li explained. “I took two steps and the water was at my hips. Two more, and it was at my chest. Then it was just under my nose. I put Jane on my shoulder and was trying to hold on to the nanny’s hand; she was struggling because her head was already underwater. I turned back, and everything—the beach, the swimming pool—was gone. I was just standing in the ocean, in nothing.”
Several onlookers at a fortunate vantage point spotted the ensuing struggle, swam toward them, and saved baby Jada and the nanny while Jet Li took care of himself and Jane.