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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 January 2005, 13:26 GMT
Asian disaster: Thailand eyewitnesses
The western coast of southern Thailand has been badly affected by sea surges following Sunday's earthquake. The popular tourist destinations of Phuket, Phi Phi islands, Krabi and Phang Nga and been hit.

BBC News readers sent their accounts of the disaster.


Your comments:

On Tuesday, there were more bodies lined along the main road in Khao Lak than the casulties you anounced in your updates. I have never seen anything like this - whole villages have been destroyed. In some places the only way you can tell that a house stood there is the fact that all that remains is a concrete floor. This disaster killed many people from all over the world including an American friend of mine along with his entire family.
Alec Napier, Bangkok, Thailand

I'm living in Hong Kong and managed to leave Phuket this morning. However it is still apparent that very few people actually know where to go or what to do in order to have some assistance from the British Consulate. Feel helpless as we could be doing more if we knew what to do.
Adrian Farebrother, Kidderminster, UK

My brother and his wife were on holiday at Phuket. He says lost children are being washed up on the beaches.
William Galloway, Scotland
I am the general manager for two Irish pubs in Patong. We were very fortunate. Although one pub has gone completely and the other is damaged, all the staff were saved. For those people with relatives still here please be positive: there is still a lot of people unaccounted for but there are many who have survived and helped others through the tragedy. Communications are bad but that does not mean the worst. The clear up operation is well underway and there is much needed aid coming in.
Tim Rawlinson, Patong, Thailand

My brother and his wife were on holiday at Phuket. He sent a text to me only hours after the second wave - horrendously graphic. Now he says lost children are being washed up on the beaches.
William Galloway, Biggar, Scotland

We were in Bangkok when the earthquake occurred - the 21st floor of our hotel shook violently for about 5-10 minutes. We were on one of the first fights to Phuket after the disaster, they flew in all tourists regardless of whether hotels were still existing. When we arrived in Phuket it was chaos - all services were shut, nobody could offer info, people were milling around with children, people freshly arrived and people trying to leave, there were no taxis, no hotel rooms. The airline, probably realising its mistake asked us if we wanted to fly back to Bangkok. Friends and relatives reading this message - please be aware that not all Phuket has been affected and that loved ones may simply not be able to communicate because mobile connections have been patchy at best.
Lucie and Rudi Wuethrich Warrillow, Berne, Switzerland

My son Natsuki and his wife Yukiko called yesterday, 29 hours after the tsunami disaster. They were staying at Khao Lak. [The morning after the waves hit they returned to their hotel], on the way they saw a lot of dead people around them. My son suspects that Khao Lak might be one of the hardest hit areas.
Yoshihiko Miyata, Kawasaki Japan

I was standing outside when people started to run away from the beach. I had a three-year-old child on my lap. I gave the child to my mother when I was carried away by the water. I hit a pillar of another hotel and just after that one person hit me. I lost my balance and was forced to travel more with the water. Thank God my family was totally fine as they were inside and some were sleeping.
Zain Ali, Phuket, Thailand

We were not even aware that this disaster had happened until a few hours later. All I can say is that the devastation is much worse than it appears on TV. Please report from beaches other than Patong. Kamala has had massive damage as has most of the other beaches along the south and west coasts. There are many more dead than it seems. Please let the world know the whole story. Phuket is not just Patong.
Valerie, Phuket, Thailand

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

We saw our beach bungalow torn apart and dragged into the sea. There were two more surges and after these things got even worse. We've been told by police to leave the island. We've lost everything and don't know where to go next except towards the east.
Ian Jeffreys, Patong, Phuket

My family and I were enjoying the sun and the beach at 1100 this morning. As we looked at other hotel guest staring at something on the horizon, we soon became aware that a huge wave was heading our way. We grabbed what we could and just managed to get high enough. Another soon came afterwards. Most of the southern beaches and houses of Krabi are destroyed; the wave carried longboats, cars and trees onto the land and crushed them with its power.
Robert Herrick, Krabi, Thailand

Four terrified girls asked me to take them to safety
Shane Cordell, Patong, Phuket, Thailand
This morning I rode down to the beach front, ambulances whizzing past me. When I got near the beach front I saw piles of cars. Four terrified girls asked me to take them to safety. On the beach front road lay two boats, one had been crushed by a bus. Cars have been thrown through two story buildings. I saw three dead bodies being carried away. I spent the day helping where I could, taking people to high ground. There was a mile long traffic jam snaking out of Patong, it was like a biblical exodus. My local supermarket was one floor underground, it had been flooded, the chance of survival for the staff is close to zero.
Shane Cordell, Patong, 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. I woke up as the tidal waves started to wash the tent away. I could not find the zip and I 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 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

As an Australian medic I, along with two other medical students who witnessed the tsunami were taken to the Ko Lanta hospital where we have worked since midday. I was involved in two unsuccessful resuscitations of drowning victims, and treated over 60 foreign holidaymakers with injuries, mainly multiple fractures, some severe such as skull factures and suspected spinal fractures. There have been three confirmed dead on Ko Lanta with a number of missing local children. One family from Sweden with 10 children were swept from their longboat and sustained multiple abrasions and fractures but survived. We have evacuated 25 patients by military helicopter to the mainland. People are awaiting another wave and most are camping out on hilltops not that any accommodation at beach level remains.
Benjamin Gilmour, Thailand

The beach disappearing before our very eyes
Sumy Menon, off Krabi coast, Thailand
We saw a wall of water approaching us. When it hit us, it was only about 10 feet high and the boat rose and then dipped. It was a bit rocky but we were all fine. Several more similar waves followed then a lull. A boat man drove us a small distance to shelter behind a small island. We could see the tsunami breaking on the shore behind us in enormous sprays of water. The waves crashed onto the shores on the small islands ahead of us with devastating force - the beach disappearing before our very eyes. Thank goodness we were in relatively deep water. If we had got under way 10 minutes earlier or later, we may not have been so fortunate.
Sumy Menon, off Krabi coast, Thailand




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