Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Eyewitness Report from the Tsunami

This is an email from some very good friends of mine that live and work in Thailand.
I was very happy to hear that they escaped unharmed.

> Br. Bass,
>
> Thanks for the e-mail and happy holidays! We're all
> safe. We (Me, Eleanor, Miles, Eleanor's brother, his
> wife, and her parents and brother) were all together
> on one of the islands that got hit. Everyone is fine
> and we are now back in Bangkok. We were on an island
> called Railay Beach which is about 40 miles from
> Phuket. Railay Beach is only accessible by boat and
> there are no cars/roads on the island. Phuket is the
> beach resort town that has been in the news that got
> hit hard. Eleanor was on one of the beaches when one
> of the big waves hit. Fortunately, we were staying on
> the east side of the island that was well protected
> and not hit. The west side got hammered. People were
> badly injured and some people were killed. We had no
> warning that a tsunami was coming because it is such a
> freak occurrence. As soon as the waves hit, we were
> told to get to higher ground. We were on a hilltop
> from 11:30 A.M. to 9:30 with about 1,000 other people.
> It had the feel of a refugee camp, but the spirit was
> great. People were helping one another out, sharing
> food and water. It was a nice thing to see. The reason
> we stayed up there so long was because people were
> afraid of after shocks and more tidal waves. Every
> half hour we were told that the "Big One" was coming!
> I felt like Fred Sanford waiting for the "Big One."
> Fortunately, the big one never came. At 10:00 El,
> Miles, and I went back to our place. I must admit, I
> slept with one eye open the entire night on the
> lookout for water. Fortunately, none came.
>
> We had a 2:30 flight back to Bangkok today. The hotel
> arranged a boat for us to get back to the mainland
> where the airport was. When we got to the airport and
> we started talking to people, it became even more
> apparent how blessed and fortunate we were. Eleanor
> spoke with a woman who only had the clothes she was
> wearing. Everything else she had was gone and her
> hotel was destroyed. I spoke with a gentleman who was
> staying on an island close to us and he said all of
> the hotels on his island were destroyed. He spent the
> night helping the hotel staff. The only thing we had
> to contend with was being displaced, hungry
> (everything was closed), and we were without power
> most of the day. Other than that we were ok. It's
> great being back in Bangkok. When we went to bed last
> night the death toll was 11,000 now it's up to 23,000
> unbelievable. Miles has been a real trooper! He has
> been wonderful throughout this entire ordeal. He' s
> slept, he's played, hasn't been fussy. We are so
> blessed. Thanks for thinking of us.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Ryan

1 comment:

Scott said...

Wow, thats amazing. I'm glad they lived.