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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December 2004, 17:03 GMT
Your experiences of Asian disaster
Residents in Lhokweumawe Indonesia search for their missing families among the dead
This is the second page of your comments on Asia earthquake disaster.

The following is a selection of the reports received:

I came for Christmas vacation with my family. We checked in to Mermaid Hotel in Kalutara. As we were having breakfast in the first floor overlooking the sea at a distance of 800 metres at around 0930 a huge wave about the height of a coconut tree swept in to the hotel smashing everything in its path.

The people on the beach had no chance to react and were swept away

The people on the beach had no chance to react and were swept away. I went to the ground floor to get my stuff from the room. The beds were under water , the tide was rising and I was trapped inside. I managed to somehow open the door and go to the first floor. In 15 minutes when the water went down we got in to our vehicles and sped off before the second wave. We were lucky, but not so thousands of others in Sri Lanka.
Prasantha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

In Aceh right now there are many dead bodies on the road. Many people are starving in the mountain, they stay because they want to save themselves from the tsunami. So please we're begging for your help in Indonesia. We're hoping that the international rescue will get to Aceh fast. Please.
Kevin Kartasasmita, Jakarta, Indonesia

On the 26th, Sunday, about 7:45am, my family was sleeping soundly and I felt my body was floating then I heard the sound of crushing glasses on the refrigerator, the water in the tank flew out and I knew that was an earthquake. I also heard the loud shouting of my neighbours. All the members of my family woke up and we all ran to the ground floor as our eight-storey building was shaking. My poor grandmother could not run and she was in great fear. We haven't had any experience of earthquakes. After a few minutes the ground stopped shaking. On the TV news, the quake's centre was near Indonesia, I was so worried for my mother working in Singapore. But as I saw there were no deaths in Singapore so I was relieved. I felt very sorry for the people in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and India. One of my neighbour's sons is a sailor and they have not heard any news about him and they are so worried.
Ye Tun, Rangoon, Burma

I just heard from my brother who is vacationing in the Andamans. We have over 3,500 dead here on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and many missing. The place is in chaos. Many buildings in Port Blair have collapsed. Airports and military airfields were washed into the sea. The Indian Navy is here delivering relief and doing rescue ops. The tourists are being evacuated to Kolkatta and Chennai by air.
Craig, Andamans, India

I was so lucky to have survived - the woman who had a souvenir shop underneath my hotel escaped with me. The wave took everything of hers away: her shop as well as her house, everything. Yet, she was still offering me whatever cash she had in her pocket to make sure that I get home safely. I mean, despite the fact that she had nothing, she still wanted to give everything that she had. So please, give generously because a lot of people have absolutely nothing other than what they are wearing.
Vicky Wong, Phuket

It's a horrible sight to see bodies strewn along the coast, caught in trees and shrubs

The scene is getting bloodier by the hour. Two days after the tragedy, there is no more time left to identify the bodies - most of them have begun to rot. It's a horrible sight to see bodies strewn along the coast, caught in trees and shrubs. The air is drenched with the stink and filled with the wails of the survivors. Our culture places a lot of emphasis on the last rights of the dead - but now, it's heartbreaking to see pits dumped with bodies being filled up using bull dozers. Nature is the ultimate leveller.
Vijay, Chennai, India

My beautiful sister Lisa died when the tsunami hit the tiny Koh Phra Thong island in Thailand. She was a conservationist, and had dedicated her short life to helping wildlife and the environment, she was 31. Her brother Mark and I and our family are absolutely dumbstruck. She will leave a massive hole in the lives of everyone who knew and loved her. We miss her terribly already, the world was a better place with her in it. The island has been evacuated, she was one of three casualties. However her body is still on the island, I've heard nothing from the foreign office, the makeshift British embassy in Phuket is trying to help but is snowed under. I want her body recovered but I feel useless so far away...
Chris Jones, Windsor, UK

About five minutes ago, one famous reporter from the biggest news TV station here cried her heart out loud when reporting live from Banda Aceh, devastated. The city's like a huge dumpster place, dead bodies still scattered everywhere, debris blocking the streets with possibility victims of the tsunami in those piles. Help hasn't arrived yet even there in the capital of Aceh. People who are hungry tried to break in one grocery store only to find food covered in mud and water, and bodies of people who couldn't escape at the time the tsunami hit.
Tris, Jakarta, Indonesia

We were staying right on the beach at Ko Lak, Phuket. At breakfast we looked out to sea and commented that we could see "surf" and that we might be able to have a surf. We walked out to the beach commenting on how far out the tide was, the next minute whistles were being blown and we were being shouted at to get off the beach. We managed to run to our two-storey building and get to the highest point - this saved our lives as everything around us was crushed, we smashed our way onto the roof top and stayed there for about an hour.

We were incredibly lucky, we have only the clothes we are standing in, but at least we have each other. People around us have terrible injuries or have lost their wives, husbands or children. The man staying in front of us has lost his wife, daughter and grand-daughter, it is all so sad. Please send what you can to help those left behind.
Julia Pollard, London, UK

My uncle survived but his wife and son were swept away and he was a witness to that
Abraham, Dallas, USA
I just talked to my father in India over the phone. I heard the tragic news of my relatives. My uncle, aunt and my cousin who just finished engineering college were on a pilgrimage to Velankanni church (dedicated to mother Mary) in Tamil Nadu, India. They were not able to enter the church because the church was completely occupied. But they were standing outside along with other church goers when the waves struck. My uncle survived but his wife and son were swept away and he was a witness to that. He is admitted to a local hospital suffering from injuries and psychological trauma. Rescue groups still haven't found my cousin and my aunt. Please do keep them in your prayers. Thank you.
Abraham, Dallas, USA

She said that she didn't know which child to pick up because she couldn't carry them all
Dharshanie, Colombo, Sri Lanka
I live in Wellawatte (Colombo) which I would say was 'not affected' compared to the rest of the country. I was initially informed that the sea water had 'disappeared' (i.e. the shore had widened up to about 100 yards) This for me initially was something I wanted to see, in terms of unusual happenings, something I wanted a picture of that I could show my friends abroad. At the time I wasn't even thinking in terms of deaths until and after I got back home and started listening to the news. It just happened even before we had time to think. I heard someone who said that she lost two (out of four) of her children. She said that she didn't know which one to pick up because she couldn't carry them all. My thoughts are now with her and all those many like her who've lost their loved ones and possibly everything they've ever had in life.
Dharshanie, Colombo,Sri Lanka

Colleague and friend, Thomas (Tommy) Nolan age 34 and his partner Georgina, both from Blackley in Manchester, are in Thailand (possibly Phuket)has anyone seen or heard from them?
Suzanne W, Essex

He has cuts and bruises after being sucked from hotel by huge wave
Chris Pratt, Garmouth, Scotland
We have just received a (mobile) call from our son, Richard, who is trapped in Hikkaduwa, 10 km North of Galle in Sri Lanka. He has cuts and bruises after being sucked from hotel by huge wave. Village absolutely devastated and everyone living like refugees. Can't at this stage get out of village as all roads are blocked
Chris Pratt, Garmouth, Scotland

In response to Sean from Wokingham. No, the coverage is not distasteful. Those of us with family in the stricken areas are frantic for any news we can get, and the BBC and other news agencies are helping us to get this information much more than the foreign office. This is a great tragedy for everyone involved, but right now we just want to know that the people we love are safe. If anything is distasteful it is your comment at a time when people are still trying to reach loved ones.
Michelle, Cardiff, UK

My sister and her husband have just called from the Maldive island of Kuredu to say they are fine and that though about one third of the island is under water and a few people were hurt nobody was killed there. People from nearby smaller islands have been evacuated to Kuredu. They should have been coming home today but have been told they will have to stay where they are for a couple more days.
Rita Taylor, Sedgefield

At first I didn't expect the tidal wave to be that high to flood the shore, but when I drove down town. The road started to be flooded right in front of my car. After I made my way into town I saw the water running right into the town centre. Cars where swept away and people trapped in houses near the shore. Later I went to the south of the island where it was supposed to be worse. Many houses close to the shore where flooded.
Sven, Victoria Seychelles

Our mortuary is over flowing with bodies
Bala Karunakaran, Killinochi, Sri Lanka
I am a medical student of Kings College London gaining some work experience in Killinochi General Hospital, northern Sri Lanka. I have never seen such chaos. People were rushed to our hospital in buses and HGVs. Our mortuary is over flowing with bodies. Most of the dead are women and young children. We also have many young children in our wards that are yet to be identified. By the end of last night we had over 700 casualties and 120 dead bodies in our hospital alone. The hospital had run out of space and resources and we had to divert minor injuries to a local school to have medical students attend them.
Bala Karunakaran, Killinochi, Sri Lanka

It's amazing how it all started. The sheer unexpectedness of these tidal waves that hit the coast of Sri Lanka was "aww" enough. I live close to the beach in Colombo, where it wasn't as bad as the east and southern coasts of the country. Seeing the water recede to such low levels amused everyone at the beach, there were parts of the beach never before seen. Just then, in a matter of minutes, in such an amazing way, the water levels just kept rising and rising. We now know that the receding water level is a warning that 'tsunami's' are about to hit. But here in Sri Lanka, such disasters are unheard of, I guess everyone was a bit too complacent. We left the shore as soon as the water levels reached a height too high for the liking. Just leaves us all wondering 'What if?'
Ashen, Colombo, Sri Lanka

I have finally heard from my father 24hrs after the tsunami hit my parent's house in Wadduwa, which is on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. Their house is a write-off my mother nearly drowned and is now in Colombo hospital, phone systems in the coastal regions are still a bit unreliable.
Don Gunatillake, London

There is no news coming out from the western part of Aceh
Adelina M, Jakarta, Indonesia
I was going to church on Sunday morning when I first heard the news about an earthquake measured 6.8 on Richter scale in Aceh. I didn't know there were results of that earthquake, tsunamis destroying the coastal region of south/south-east Asia, until I got back home at 4 pm. My grandma who lives in Padang, West Sumatra is ok, thank God. All day, the television shows news and footage of the situation in Aceh that wasn't shown on BBC. It was awful! There is no news coming out from the western part of Aceh (in Meulaboh, the closest area from the epicentre of the earthquake, estimated around 1 million people living there and in villages around the area close to the sea), no communication is possible, it is not even possible to get rescuers into that area right until this very moment. It's just unbearable to know that our brothers and sisters in Aceh have to go through this kind of pain.
Adelina M, Jakarta, Indonesia

Just got through to my brother. All guests staying in Berjaya Langkawi beach and spar Hotel in Langkawi are all OK no one is injured.
Steve Fenables, Buckingham England

The water began to change colour and it became very choppy
Sayyeda Valli, Mombasa, Kenya
We went to celebrate boxing day in Malindi Marine National Park. My family hired a glass boat and 24 of us set sail. When we reached the deep waters, we took a dip and swam with the fish. Later on we went further on to the sand banks because some of us wanted to swim in the shallow waters. Suddenly, those of us who had jumped into the sea, began to be pulled by the current with absolutely no warning. The boat which had anchored began to swirl round and round. The 7 people who had jumped into the sea, were being pulled in all sorts of directions and there was panic all around. Those who jumped in to save them also got pulled in, despite being good swimmers. The water began to change colour and it became very choppy, and there was a section where the water level water dropped, and it seemed like the rest of the ocean was flowing into it. Suddenly the level rose within seconds and the sand bank disappeared again as fast as it appeared. The engine of the boat was revving at full speed and yet the boat was not moving. With the help of other boats in the area, we managed to save the passengers from our boats and their boats. We began to head towards the coast. Again our boat twirled, drawn by the currents. It was scary. On return, I saw on BBC about the major Asia quake and the effect it has had and the lives it has claimed.
Sayyeda Valli, Mombasa, Kenya

My son Steve Pretty was diving from the Andamans. Has anyone any news from the Andamans? Is telephone contact likely to be restored soon?
Christine Pretty, Amersham, UK

We spent the whole of yesterday frantic about our son who was in Thailand/Phuket/Patong area. We contacted the British embassy in Bangkok and also emergency help line and left details. Were overjoyed when this morning had received the e-mail from him.
Mrs Gloria Thackery, Kings Langley, England

Completely destroying the hotel sending huge slabs of concrete flying through the surging waters
Alison Saetta, Colombo Sri Lanka
Niavali Beach Hotel is a remote location in a war-torn region. It is one of few remaining hotels. We caught the full ferocity of the waves front on. We were staying in a room on the beach. We had only seconds to evacuate our room as the waves came crashing through the window at amazing speed and strength. We ran to the upstairs room. Within seconds the waves and water was up to our first floor balcony. Suddenly the waters retreated with equal force gutting our room on the ground floor and taking with it even the bath tub. Then the waves came again filling in all round us. It was like we were on a ship in a storm.

The waves very quickly receded and we saw the retreating torrents full with furniture beds, fridges, my daughter's paddling pool together with bodies. Looking out to sea we saw that the sea bed was exposed like a desert for about 1 km. There was no sea. It was like the parting of the waves. We made a run for it at this point wadding through the debris. We saw our car wedged in a tree. We ran until reaching some dry land and just running and running. Ten minutes later we heard enormous crashing of waves as the sea came in for the third time - this time crushing and completely destroying the hotel sending huge slabs of concrete flying through the surging waters. Many people in their rooms perished as the first wave hit. There was simply not even seconds to escape. Families in their rooms on ground floor simply got sucked out of their rooms and disappeared.
Alison Saetta, Colombo Sri Lanka

My youngest son is in Thailand and I have had no replies to my e-mails. His name is Reece Garner, he is 29yrs old. He is due home on Thursday. He is travelling alone. Please help find him. Our church is praying for you son.
Jim Garner, Herts UK

My brother is on the island of Sumatra. He last called me from Medan, on his way to Bukit Lawang. His name is Chris Reade and he is 25 years old. Please let us know you're safe Chris or if anyone has any information, please let me know.
Gareth Reade, Solihull

I worked in the Maldives and am gutted to see it so stricken. For those of you who cannot contact loved ones or friends in Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili - I have heard that all the guests and staff are ok. I would like to know if anyone knows how civilians in Bentota, Sri Lanka have faired? I have a friend's family there. I will keep my fingers crossed...
Yasmin Butt, London, England

Our dear son Gareth Buset is in Koh Phi Phi. We have not heard form you. We are looking for you in the ways we can and praying for you. We love you. Hang in there dear son.
Havard and Bridget, Porsgrun, Norway

We were dragged back into the ocean with a tremendous force
Abhay Mavalankar, Dar es salaam, Tanzania
We were on the beach south of Dar es Salaam. At round about 12:45 pm (local time) we were astonished to see water receding from the shore very rapidly. The water receded almost a kilometre into the ocean. We were out in the sea at that time and we were dragged back into the ocean with a tremendous force. There was an extremely powerful undercurrent. After some time there were series of huge waves and again the water came swelling back engulfing many people. We thought nothing of this phenomenon till we reached home and put on the news. We were to be horrified to hear about the earthquake. It reminds us that we will always be at the mercy of mother nature.
Abhay Mavalankar, Dar es salaam, Tanzania

Although emergency numbers are being given out (I have a number for the FCO, one in Bankok, and one in Phuket, I have not been able to speak to anyone for 24 hrs as the lines are busy. I'm trying to find out if the Zabel family (Katie, Laura, Graham and his wife) are OK. They are in Phuket but I don't know which hotel. They are from Surrey.
Kate Aydin, Oxford, UK

I am looking for my good friend Fernando Milmo from San Antonio, Texas, who I last heard from about 10 days ago from Sumatra. Please advise me if anyone has information about Fernando.
Eric Zeliff, Hendersonville, NC USA

I have a friend who lives in Ambalangoda on the South Coast of Sri Lanka, and I have no idea if she and/or her family is alright. Her name is Sachithra Hasarangi and she's 19 years old.
Louise, Grimsby, England

My brother Rod Walters (37) and his family Sharon Wood (34) Jake Walters (13) Chelsea Walters (10) and Eloise Walters (5) were staying in a beach hut near Patong Beach, Phuket. We are desperate for news regarding their safety.
Vic Walters, Gravesend, Kent

My daughter and boyfriend (Nicola Harrison and Andrew Doyle) are in the Maldives. We can't reach them. Is there any more information about this area. We don't know which resort they went to. If anyone there is in touch we need to know what's happening.
Lesley Harrison, Bingley, England

We are waiting to hear from my Brother William Kerr who was travelling on his own around Thailand. We know he moved to Patong last Monday so that he could spend Christmas Day on the beach in Patong. Managed to get through to all the emergency numbers we could but so far his name is not appearing on any of their lists. We are in constant worry about him. He is 6ft 2" and speaks with a Northern Irish Accent. Did anyone who was in Patong have any contact with him? Or know where he could be now? Please help us.
Shelly Hollingsbee, Co.Armagh, N.Ireland

Just about to leave home, my neighbours started screaming

At 0800 my bed shook for about 2 mins. The curtains were shaking. There was an earthquake somewhere. Nothing unusual, I thought, and dozed on. Then I heard on BBC radio that there'd been a big quake off North Sumatra. How STUPID not to consider the consequences. I was due to go canoeing but was late. Just about to leave home, my neighbours started screaming. I live 10m from the sea wall at Chalong. I went outside to see the water at the top of the wall, surging along at about 10 knots, boiling brown with breaking wooden boats (longtails) like soup. Two mins later the boats were going the other way, just as fast. The sea dried up in 10 mins, sucked out. Oops, what goes out fast must come back fast. It was time to grab some gear & seek higher ground. I was lucky. The relative shelter of Chalong & my crumbling sea wall saved me & my house. Those on the west coast weren't so lucky, including my good friend who hadn't heard a second wave was coming. She was taking care of house guests at her idyllic beachside cottage - mopping up - when it hit.
Peter, Phuket, Thailand

As if they were not suffering enough. The worst part is the tidal wave would have destroyed the coastal lines of Sri Lanka where some of the poorest communities lived. They have worked so hard in their lives just to have earn and afford basic possessions - but now all that has gone. My heart goes out to all those that have been affected.
Arun, London, UK

Thanks for the widespread coverage of the worst natural disaster. I was in the Jaffna district when this worst nightmare unfolded and I have seen several hundred bodies and many thousands of people injured and displaced, not only in Jaffna peninsula but also along the east and south coasts. Sri Lanka has been badly affected and nearly 10,000 people have been killed but the Sri Lankan government is yet to recognise the true figure of devastation
Pakirathan Siva

People literally outrunning the tidal wave from the beach to escape
Malcolm Tetley, Patong, Thailand
We are very lucky to have survived. We left Patong for a boat trip at 07.30 to Phang Nga. Boat but the trip aborted early to avoid the tidal wave. The boat to Phi Phi we were on 2 days earlier was sunk. We were on Phi Phi 2 days earlier and now we believe many people have died there. We have been unable to return to Patong last night so we slept in emergency accommodation and heard many horror stories from evacuees whose family members are missing. There were stories of severed limbs from flying glass, narrow escapes from drowning and people literally outrunning the tidal wave from the beach to escape. The Thai people have been magnificent, providing free food and drink and accommodation very quickly for us. Today Patong town is a disaster zone. All businesses within 500 metres of the beach are destroyed, cars are smashed, power lines are down, many thousands of people will have no work for some time to come. Bodies are still being recovered. We saw vehicles taking bodies to the hospitals or mortuaries but the clean up operation will start soon. Right now, everyone is in fear of a second wave or aftershock, and rumours have led to panic at least 2 times today.
Malcolm Tetley and James Spooner, Patong Thailand

We are desperate for news of our daughter Charlotte Jones who was on the island of Racha Yai near Phuket when the wave struck. She is 24, 5 foot 6 inches with distinguishing dreadlocks. Getting through on the emergency number has proved futile. We live in hope.
Alan Jones, Petersfield UK

Thank you Voi-Ping. Your message on this site got me in contact with you daughter on Koh Racha Yai. My brother Theo and his wife and daughter seem to be ok, with everybody else on the island. Thank you BBC, thank you Internet
Rob Delissen, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands

All of Sri Lanka are in a state of shock. For a country which has had no experience of natural disasters of this magnitude with occasional flooding in certain parts of the island as the closest, it is indeed a very dark day for us all. However, what I see today is the unstilted support & brotherhood displayed by all Sri Lankans, regardless of race & religion to help their countrymen in distress. Already, people are contributing in many ways to help those displaced, private firms coming forward with monetary & material support etc. Amidst the gloom, this is a visible silver lining.
Roshan Gooneratne, Mt.Lavinia, Sri Lanka

It is hard to make a phone call that might bring bad news
Graeme Pietersz, Colombo, Sri Lanka
I just spoke to a friend who is trying to find the courage to make the phone calls to ask if people are OK. It is hard to make a phone call that might bring bad news. The roads are quiet and although people are trying to get on with life as usual most find it difficult. The fear that there is bad news we have not yet heard is paralysing and makes concentrating on normal work very hard. I do not know how to explain to my two year old daughter why she has seen people crying, but at least we are all alive. We had a booking today at a hotel that was hit. It could easily have been us drowning in the Indian Ocean. A charity that helps the destitute told us that they have lost one of their premises, and most of their stocks of food. One man had a heart attack while running to where a child was playing. He died of the heart attack and the child was drowned. Even here in Colombo, which was not directly affected, everyone I have spoken to knows someone who has been affected, and many people have lost friends or family.
Graeme Pietersz, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The main requirement in this area is drinking water, medicine, and shelter. Please help.
Deane Jayamanne, Negombo, Sri Lanka

The roads in Colombo are eerily quiet today. In my office, my colleagues are narrating how they escaped death. Right now, everyone here is in a state of shock. The telephone lines are out and everyone is glued to the news.
Anisha, Colombo, Sri Lanka

I was washed away by the tidal wave but luckily I was not thrown back into the sea. I was carried into a kind of huge channel where the locals keep their boats. In a few seconds this otherwise peaceful channel were turned into a roaring inferno of boats washed ashore, plenty of fish already dead floating through this extremely dirty sewage water. I already considered myself a lost cause as I was whirled towards massive boats at high speed. Finally, I got hold of some sort of solid wooden board that was hanging down from a boat not yet washed out to sea. I called out for help and one Chinese man managed to climb down. I was still in a daze and hardly managed to utter the words thank you.
Felix Arabia, Penang, Malaysia

I woke up as the tidal waves started to wash the tent away
Alain Diandet, Phuket, Thailand
I was sleeping in a tent near a beach in a national park on the east of Phuket airport when I started being shaken around by the sea (around 10am) I woke up as the tidal waves started to wash the tent away. I could not find the zip and had to tear the tent apart to get out. I struggled to rescue the tent and its contents but had to rapidly let go of the whole thing to save myself. As I escaped, the water became extremely muddy and the tidal wave and the forested area made the escape very difficult. Finally I managed to climb onto a tree to get some relief from the waves of mud and moving objects (cars, trees). After regaining some strength, I went to rescue a young boy that had been separated from his parents and was stuck in the branches of a fallen tree (his parents were very relieved to find us later on at a local dispensary - one of their friends had not been so lucky and had lost her two kids.) As I escaped the area, I could apprehend the vastness of the devastation.
Alain Diandet, Phuket, Thailand

I have lived in Rawai Beach, Phuket for the last 10 years and have seen nothing like this. We are at the south east end of the island, and all the boats here are gone. Just around the corner on the west coast at Phuket's most beautiful beach, Ya Nui, there is nothing left. There were two houses on the beach and a restaurant, behind the beach was at least 25 bungalows they are also completely gone. I have many friends on this beach and we have already found one dead. I am sure there will be many more.
Tony Bridgse, Phuket Thailand

My second cousin, her husband and two kids were in Maldives for Christmas and New Year. Just found out a short while ago that they're alive. They were lying on the beach when the tidal waves struck! They had to tie their kids to trees or they'd have been washed away in the waters. Hotels are flattened and all they have is the swimming costumes they were wearing at the time, everything else washed away. The British Embassy is hoping to get them on a flight to Gatwick tomorrow if possible. At least they're alive, thank God.
Graham, Scotland

I received this email message from Kuredu Hotel Resort Maldives: "We are pleased to inform you that we have survived from the earthquake and there was no damage except a little to the Jetty. And everyone in Kuredu was okay. We do not have any telephone service earlier, but now telephone service is also working."
Margaret, UK

The curtain poles were swinging
Derek Mansfield, Landmark Hotel, Bangkok
We were awake at about 8am this morning when the room started swaying. We're on the 29th floor. The curtain poles were swinging as was the umbrella in the wardrobe. I was in the bath at the time and the water was moving from one end to the other. I guess it can be best described as like being in a boat on a choppy sea. It seemed to last for a good 5 minutes or so. It wasn't quick. At first I thought I'd had a few beers too many the night before - it was my wife who realised that it was an earthquake. Otherwise it's pretty normal here in Bangkok. Another beautiful day albeit with a bit of a scary start!
Derek Mansfield, Landmark Hotel, Bangkok

Am I the only one who has found the tone of the coverage so far distasteful and inappropriate? Thousands of people have been killed, whole families and communities wiped out and probably tens (hundreds?) of thousands more - lucky enough to survive- will be left with absolutely nothing. Yet the emphasis of the British media so far seems to have been on the unfortunate British tourists who have had their holidays ruined.
Sean, Wokingham

Our friends Dalene and Gerhard Theron and their daughter Janine (24) are stuck on a mountain on Phuket, where they were herded from their hotel. They were hysterical initially, but are now calmer and thankful to be alive. They are awaiting rescue by helicopter and hoping that the South African Embassy will assist them once they are back on firm soil.
Jeanne Rust, Pretoria South Africa

I thought "I die now" but I did not die.

Bonaborak Thamasamatri, Phuket
I was on the beach when I saw a big wave coming. I ran and told everyone to get off the beach now and I ran away hard but the wave got me and I slid a long way on my bottom into a tree. Then I saw the ground below and I thought "I die now" but I did not die.
Bonaborak Thamasamatri, Patong Beach Phuket

The "whole of Laguna" is not gone. I was playing tennis at the Banyan Tree when the first wave hit and we did not notice anything at all. However, when we left the Hotel there were traffic queues on the road that goes out from the Laguna area. Part of the Sheraton and Dusit hotels in Laguna have been damaged. The worst areas hit in Phuket are Kata, Patong and Kamala beach on the west coast. Many beach restaurants and shops have been swept away.
Maria Kaye, Phuket

This southern part of the country was hit by tidal waves in the morning. Water from the world-famous Marina Beach has entered the prestigious Beach Road, which is almost a half kilometre away from the seafront, washing away some fishermen on the coast. Buses are not plying and shops have put up shutters leaving the normal life completely paralysed. People are glued to TV to have a glimpse of the latest, and are curious rather anxious to know about the possibilities of aftershocks.
Rajaneesh, Madras. India

Does anybody else find it significant that this earthquake occurred at a time of full Moon, ie spring tides, which pull the rocks of the Earth just as they do the waters?
Mark Burford, Braintree, England

We are on the holiday resort of Kurumba in the Maldives, we were hit by the aftershock but from what information we have no one was killed, just a lot of property damage. The tide came in quickly we have a barrier but the wave was too big. We heard the island resort of Full Moon is in much worse shape. Some residents of neighbouring islands are being brought here to sleep. Not much information here but we do have BBC and CNN.
Evelyn, Evergreen, Colorado

Pinned against a tree by the water, debris and bodies started to pile up against me
Kevin Aldrich, Phang Nga, Thailand
I woke up to what I thought was banging on our hotel door - it blew open and we were tossed from our bed by the surge of tide into the room. It broke out the back windows and we were carried out. We scrambled on to walls and rooftops but within minutes the tide surged higher and 15 to 20 feet was not high enough. The buildings around me collapsed and I was thrown into the surge. When I came up there was a branch I grabbed on and held. Surviving the receding tides was hardest. Pinned against a tree by the water, debris and bodies started to pile up against me and it felt like I was being crushed. In the end, the whole resort was gone. There are many others like me - lost, dazed and searching for their loved ones.
Kevin Aldrich, Phang Nga, Thailand

Received a telephone call from my boyfriend who works at Soneva Gili, a resort in the Maldives at 7.30am GMT (26th), to tell me what had happened and to say that he thought everyone on the island was OK. It seemed as though there was little left of the resort and that food and water supplies had been lost, along with all belongings.
Catherine Lawrence, UK

My best friend and girlfriend went to Sri Lanka for Xmas. We haven't heard from them in two days. There last text was on Sat. Kyri and Rachael, I hope you are well and hope you will spend new year with us in the UK.
George Eliades, London

Tsunami has caused an inconceivable damage in Sri Lanka. The extent of the damage can be visualised by the following facts - a train with 1500 passengers has washed away and all passengers missing, buses are being seen floating in deep sea with no clue of the passengers on board. Some villages, hotels and markets have washed away leaving no trace.
Harshana Somapriya, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

All our cottages were washed away
Sunil Swarup, Mahaballipuram, India
The waves that hit us at 08:45 local time were rising and then receding every 10 mins. This happened at least for three hours. All our cottages were washed away. This is Sunil from the Fisherman's Cove - a beach resort off Chennai, India. That's why it does not look like a single tidal wave as reported. This is something different which needs to be identified.
Sunil Swarup, Mahaballipuram, India

My son Luke Tunbridge and his girlfriend Laura Blackman are on the island of Ko Lanta. We have no real information as to how radically this island is affected. We have tried all day to contact FO on number given out via the media but we only get a BT message that the line is busy. Only in this country would people be expected to tolerate such a lack of information.
Kevin Tunbridge, Bury St. Edmunds Suffolk

Message to Kevin Tunbridge, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
Our daughter Lindsey says that they are stranded in Koh Lanta as of afternoon of Dec 27 (their time). Ferry was not running to Krabi. People safe at higher levels.
Marla Wyer, North Vancouver, BC Canada

Don't forget, news from disaster hit countries is hard to get. Also, communications from many countries to the UK is difficult at any time, never mind when telephone and radio links are down - perhaps get a local radio to help.
Keith Haywood, Manchester

A series of tidal waves measuring up to half of a meter in height reached the coast of South Africa from 1345 GMT.
David Jarvis, Port Elizabeth

This morning at about ten o clock, we heard that our island has been hit by tsunamis. Here in Sri Lanka we have very little knowledge about tsunamis, so we all went down to the sea and watched to our amazement that the sea had receded and everything was calm, so we were all swimming and fishing, and no one noticed that the sea level had gradually risen, until the sea became very rough and within a time space of five minutes our shores were hit by a large wave. Fortunately we were all able to escape as the wave was not very large and was slow moving, but still some houses along the coast were damaged.
Kavveen Kanagarajh, Colombo, Sri Lanka

If tsunamis hit Sri Lanka and India, they certainly have hit the southern Yangon delta of Burma
Lawrence, Belgium
Does anyone have any news from Burma? If tsunamis hit Sri Lanka and India, they certainly have hit the southern Yangon delta of Burma, and maybe even the capital. I have a few Burmese friends but my attempts to contact them by phone have all failed. Does anyone have any news on the situation in southern Burma?
Lawrence, Belgium

My uncle who lives in Kalmunai, Batticaloa in Sri Lanka had his house destroyed while he was at church a mere 15 minutes away.
Damean, Canada

The State Government of Tamil Nadu would/is already confused how to proceed with the situation, as they receive different versions from people who tend to exaggerate. In the meanwhile, the general public should be advised not to spread rumours. Everyone likes bedtime stories, but at this point in time, rightly informing the uneducated and/or shutting up would be of help.
Anand Sundaram, Chennai, India

I just want to let you guys know that those of us living in the south of Malaysia did no feel much of the earthquake and that we are all safe and sound...
Soren Lofstedt, Malacca, Malaysia

We have just heard from friends and relatives in Geraldton (north coast of Western Australia) that they have suffered tremors and some wave movement at the town beach. The water is said to have hit approximately 70 metres inland.
Louise Baxter, Perth, Western Australia

We were in a pub on the island of Bali when suddenly a huge wave hit the beach nearby. We scrambled to safety but only after most of the furniture in the pub had been swept into the sea. We are very lucky to be alive!!
Paul Miller, Dixon, USA

There's no form of communication to even let them know what is happening

Male' is protected by a special artificial barrier and yet it's flooded and destroyed. The other islands have no protection; there are thousands of these islands with thousands of people, including tourists, and there's no form of communication to even let them know what is happening, and very sadly, thus we fear there may be thousands dead, including fishermen and divers!
Ali, Male', Maldives

If the earthquake occurred early in the morning and was recorded on seismic instruments hours before the tidal waves struck, why wasn't anyone warned? Hopefully we can use this equipment to warn people instead of just telling them how big the earthquake was afterwards.
Eric Braddom, Shanghai, China

I was driving along Gurney Drive about 13:30, Sunday. I noticed the sea water has receded. Then I saw a white swell about 2km from shore. Lots of motorists stopped to take a look. In less than 2 minutes, then swell became bigger and accelerated towards the shore and flooded the road. Everyone panicked and tried to drive away. I estimated the wave, when it reached the shore (from trough to top) was about 2m high.
Cheah Tek Ming, Penang, Malaysia

The most basic fear in people's mind is whether there would be any more repeats of the tidal wave
Sudharshun, Chennai
I stay at a distance of 3kms from the beach, the most basic fear in people's mind is whether there would be any more repeats of the tidal wave. We are absolutely clueless...
Sudharshun, Chennai

I live in Woodlands, just opposite the causeway to Johor Bahru Malaysia. I live on the 7th floor of a high rise and didn't feel a thing. Neither did my partner at work at the National University Hospital, on the other side of the tiny island.
Anne McGown, Singapore

Why was there no warning about the "Tsunami" after the earthquake? Where the scientists on holiday?
George, Phuket, Thailand

Myanmar has a coastal area of more than 1300 mile facing the Bay of Bengal. I think Tsunami didn't spare Myanmar coast. I am worrying about those suffering from tidal wave in Myanmar. They will not get any international help if the world doesn't know about damage at that area.
Aung , Myanmar

The eeriest thing was sandals and flip flops floating in the water
Matthew Ward, Raley Beach, Thailand
Out on a boat all day so missed the resort I was staying in being completely destroyed. Then was just about to get into the water to dive when the tidal wave struck. If we'd been under water we'd have been wiped out. Incredible scenes of destruction as we tried to return to our beach: hundreds of people stranded on remote islands; long tail boats submerged and overturned; whole trees drifting in the water; helicopters and coast guards trying to get to the injured; and the eeriest thing was sandals and flip flops floating in the water.
Matthew Ward, Raley Beach, Thailand

About 12 to 13 hours after the Indonesian earthquake struck, a series of 3 small waves arrived at the east coast of Mauritius, 2,500 miles away, causing fairly rapid, non-threatening, 3ft fluctuations(over periods of about 5 -10 minutes)in the tide level at the fishing village of Trou D'Eau Douce.
Alan C. Brown, Trou D'Eau Douce, Mauritius

Staying in Madras, on the second floor of the Hotel Alvington. We woke up this morning noticing a very slight tremble. Hours later the tidal wave hit - the building seemed to bend with the wave, water through our room, sheer devastation on the streets below and around.
Thomas Piper, Sri Lanka

The relief effort is hampered due to the sheer size of the tragedy
Vijay, Chennai, India
There are lot of rumours floating round - warning of more tsunami's. Most of the apartment blocks are deserted with people moving inland. The plight of the fisher folk is sad - some of them have been starving since morning. The relief effort is hampered due to the sheer size of the tragedy- there is more than 40 kms of coast line with over 12 fishing hamlets in Chennai alone...
Vijay, Chennai, India

I am writing from Mauritius island. We have had our share of tidal waves in the eastern part of the island. The authorities went to the beaches to move people away to prevent any casualties. From the reports on local TV there were waves of up to 3 metres for some 3 hours. According to reports things have returned to normal. However, Rodrigues island was more touched since the sea water has flooded some areas of the island. Fortunately, no one has been killed, whether in Mauritius or Rodrigues Island. I would like also, to express my deepest regret and sympathy to all those who have lost their families in this tragedy.
Minakshi, Mauritius

All of us fear the final death toll
Charles Dickson, Phuket, Thailand
We are on holiday here in Phuket. The beach near where we are staying - Bangtao - has suffered major damage, but mainly to the fishermen and the people who have shops on the beach. Many of our hotel staff and their families have been affected, yet remained at work providing services to their guests like us. All of us fear the final death toll, and in particular are worried that the many tourists who went out on boat trips this morning have not returned.
Charles Dickson, Phuket, Thailand

I'm emailing from an internet cafe across the road from our hotel, Browns Beach in Nygombo. Sitting on the beach terrace having lunch, and saw an enormous wave heading for us. We all jumped up and ran; all we could hear was breaking glass and screams. It was chaos; people were injured by spraying glass, some taken to hospital. The hotel is devastated on the ground floor as well as all beach bungalows. The hotel staff are amazing, having food brought in, looking after the guests. Travel agents have not even been in touch, we have not a clue what is happening about being rehoused. There are no hotels free, all booked up. At least 50 families in the hotel have lost luggage drifting out to sea. It really is bad here. People are praying in the churches, locals, all leaving town.
Jacqui Walker, Sri Lanka

The death toll in my state, Kerala, has risen to about 300. The most devastating one was at a church in Velankanni where more than 2000 people were in morning prayer session when the tides struck. About 300 deaths are estimated in Velankanni itself and about 500 in the state as a whole. The water is found continuously flowing towards north and has now started to rise in its level.
Jinesh K J, Trichur, Kerala, India

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