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Maybe Up To 6000 Dead, Tidal Waves Slams Thailand


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'Many tourists missing' as tidal waves slam Thailand's Phuket: report

BANGKOK: Huge tidal waves struck southern Thailand's popular resort island of Phuket Sunday, sweeping many tourists out to sea and forcing the evacuation of several hotels, a rescue worker said on state radio.

-- AFP 2004-12-26

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Nine killed as aftershocks hit Indonesia

An 8.5-magnitude earthquake rocked large parts of South-East Asia today, causing dozens of small buildings to collapse and triggering tidal waves in north-western Indonesia.

Nine people were killed as a result of the undersea quake in Indonesia's north-western province of Aceh, where most of the damage was reported, el-Shinta radio quoted a witness as saying.

Electricity and telephone networks in parts of the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, were knocked out and dozens of shops and buildings collapsed, witnesses told el-Shinta.

"The ground was shaking for a long time," Yayan Zamzani told the station. "It must be the strongest earthquake in the last 15 years."

The quake was also felt in neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and India. No major damage was reported in those two countries.

A tidal wave hit the Thai tourist resort island Phuket with waves as high as five metres after the earthquake, Thailand's meteorology department said.

Some residents in Singapore felt light tremors from the Indonesian quake, local radio reported.

The US Geological Survey's website recorded the magnitude 8.5 earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, 1,620 km north-west of Jakarta.

It was centred 40 km below the seabed, the website reported. The survey initially reported the quake as 8.1.

Residents in the towns of Lhokseumawe and Banda Aceh in the north-western province of Aceh reported tidal waves had triggered flooding in coastal regions.

An Associated Press reporter in Lhokseumawe said several houses had been damaged and that water levels on main streets in the town had reached one-metre high. At least one house had been swept away, he said.

Hundreds of people were fleeing to higher ground, he said.

Indonesia, a country of 17,000 islands, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the margins of tectonic plates that make up the so-called the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean basin.

The quake came just three days after an 8.1 quake struck the ocean floor between Australia and Antarctica, causing buildings to shake hundreds of kilometres away but no serious damage or injury.

Quakes reaching a magnitude 8 are very rare. A quake registering magnitude 8 rocked Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on September 25, 2003, injuring nearly 600 people. An 8.4 magnitude tremor that stuck off the coast of Peru on June 23, 2001, killed 74.

-- AP 2004-12-26

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Tourists missing after tidal wave

Kamala and Patong under water

HUGE tidal waves struck southern Thailand's popular resort island of Phuket today, sweeping at least four foreign tourists out to sea, sinking boats and forcing the evacuation of hotels, officials said on state radio.

"As of now there are four foreign tourists missing and we are conducting a search," deputy Phuket governor Pongpao Ketthong said.

A rescue worker said Phuket's major beach town, Patong, was flooded and that extensive damage had been reported.

The Thai Meteorological Department said the waves had been caused by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. The waves that lashed the eastern sea board were caused by the aftershocks of an earthquake off Indonesia.

"There were reports of earth tremors from the southern and eastern regions as well as Colombo this morning," Spokesman S Premalal said.

"This phenomenon of waves is a result of the earthquake in the Indian Ocean."

Police said thousands of people had been forced out of their homes while hundreds of homes along the coast had also been washed away.

--news.com.au 2004-12-26

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Strong earthquake rocks southern provinces

PHUKET, Dec 26 (TNA) – At least one person was killed and several houses were destroyed as massive waves hit the resort province shortly after an earthquake rocked the southern region this morning.

Several boats were capsized while the navy airlifted tourists who were stranded at hotels and bungalows near affected beaches to safer areas.

The strong earthquake in Indonesia's Sumatra measuring at 8.1 Richter scale occurred at 8 a.m. this morning.

The earthquake felt in Phuket and several southern provinces.

The Meteorological Department office in the South said the epicenter of the earthquake was around the Sumatra Islands.

Vibration of the earthquake lasted between 5-10 minutes as cars, electric cables and windows of houses were seen shaken.

Mr. Vivat Intarapanich, chief of the weather department office on the western coast of the southern region, said the epicenter of the earthquake was around the Sumatra island, or at 3.4 latitude and 9.5 eastern longitude.

Total damage was still unknown but the earthquake caused panic among the people inside buildings as well as those on streets.

--TNA 2004-12-26

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Foreign tourist injured in Chiang Mai earthquake

CHIANG MAI: -- An earthquake with the magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale hit Myanmar this morning. The earthquake was felt in Chiang Mai where one foreign tourist was injured.

The tourist whose nationality was still unknown tried to escape from a condominium building where he stayed when the earthquake with the epicenter in Myanmar shook the city. The victim received injuries after slipping from the building staircases.

The Meteorological Department office in the North reported that the earthquake took place at about 8.30 a.m. and the impact could be felt in the North.

Mr. Chamnien Noothong, chief of the weather department in the North, said the impact was severe as the earthquake occurred twice with each time lasted about five seconds while there were more than 100 times of aftershock. People living in high-rise buildings in Chiang Mai could feel the impact and were frightened.

--TNA 2004-12-26

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Update:

Asia quake leaves many feared dead

Tidal waves hit Sri Lanka, Thailand

(CNN) -- Many people are feared dead after the largest earthquake to shake the planet in nearly 40 years jolted Southeast Asia Sunday.

The quake prompted a series of powerful aftershocks and tidal waves in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia's Sumatra Island, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center.

Police say 10 people are feared dead after massive tidal waves struck Sri Lanka, The Associated Press reported.

In Indonesia, nine people are reported dead, and in Thailand, an official said four tourists were killed in the southern tourist resort of Phuket as a result of the quake.

The initial quake, measuring 8.5 in magnitude, struck off the western coast of Sumatra around 7 a.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) and was followed by at least six moderate to strong aftershocks in the following hours.

The 8.5 quake is the strongest temblor to hit since 1965, according to geophysicist Julie Martinez with the NEIC, which monitors worldwide earthquakes.

In Indonesia's restive Aceh province, nine people died in a flash flood following the earthquake, local radio reported.

"I saw four bodies of kids and five bodies of adults," one resident identified as Mustofa told El Shinta radio, agencies reported.

In Thailand it wasn't clear how the tourists, who were on a popular Phuket beach, died, said Sorat Susaeng, of the Narenthorn Center of the Public Health Ministry, AP reported.

The center also reported that people were swept off a Phuket beach by tidal waves surging as high as five meters (16 feet) after the earthquake hit near the Sumatra. It wasn't clear if the people swept off the beach were the people who died.

Thousands of people fled their homes in the Aceh provincial capital Banda Aceh when the tremor struck, the official Antara news agency said.

Residents in North Sumatra's capital, Medan, reported a strong tremor that caused panic among residents.

"It was quite strong. We ran out of our houses but we're now back inside," said one resident.

The tremor could be felt as far away as Singapore and India.

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale rattled Indonesia's eastern Papua province in November, killing 29 people in the coastal town of Nabire.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands, lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire where plate boundaries intersect and volcanoes regularly erupt.

--CNN 2004-12-26

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I just got a call from my wife...she's ok (I was freaking for a while!)

Some of her rental car customers wern't so lucky...missing, presumed drowned :o

I haven't been that scared in ages

cv

ps.. hope everyone from here is alright.

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Foreign tourists missing as tidal waves slam Phuket

BANGKOK, Thailand -- (UPDATE) Huge tidal waves struck southern Thailand's popular resort island of Phuket Sunday, sweeping at least four foreign tourists out to sea, sinking boats and forcing the evacuation of hotels, officials said on state radio.

"As of now there are four foreign tourists missing and we are conducting a search," deputy Phuket governor Pongpao Ketthong said.

Phuket's major beach town, Patong, was flooded and extensive damage had been reported from a series of two-meter (6.5-foot) high waves that slammed the tropical island's west coast at about 8:30 am (0130 GMT), a rescue worker said.

"Many tourists were swept into the sea" but exact numbers were not known, the rescue worker, Mongkol Ketsunthorn, said on the radio.

Christmas and new years are peak seasons in Phuket, a resort island that sees hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors each year.

"Tourists were also on the [nearby] beaches of Karon, Kata and Kamala when a giant wave suddenly hit and swept everything up into the sea," he added.

He said all shops, kiosks and hotels along Patong beach were damaged by the tsunami, which were the likely result of a massive earthquake that struck west of the Indonesian island of Sumatra early Sunday, which the US Geological Survey said measured 8.5 on the Richter scale.

Several international hotels were completely evacuated on emergency police orders. Hotels on Patong were not answering their telephones.

"Police came to the hotel and ordered all guests to leave immediately," a manager at the Panwa Beach Resort on Phuket's southwest coast told Agence France-Presse, adding that the waves had not caused extensive damage at her property.

Frantic relatives of boatsmen, some of whom apparently captained tourist boats in Phuket waters, called in to say the boats had capsized or went missing.

Tourists and residents were reported rushing to higher ground or clogging the road routes to the north heading off the island, which is connected to the Thai mainland by a road bridge.

--AFP 2004-12-26

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Hi hkt83100,

great idea to post some pictures!

The General Manager of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa whom I called this morning was up in arms.

Do you have more pictures?

Cheers from Bangkok

Dario

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Update:

Phuket coast swamped after Sumatra earthquake

PHUKET:-- Emergency response units have been scrambled after waters off Phuket surged onto land this morning, washing away homes on the east coast and causing damage at resorts all along the west coast.

The sea rose after tremors from an earthquake just before 7 am off Sumatra, Indonesia, that measured 8.1 on the Richter scale.

At 11 am, Phuket International Hospital confirmed that at least 10 people had been admitted for serious injuries, and that many more were expected to arrive.

At Bangkok Phuket Hospital, many other injured people had been received, though a total could not be provided.

The Gazette has received reports of deaths in Kalim, in Thalang, though that report has yet to be confirmed.

Kawee Sukunthamath, Chief of the Phuket Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM), has told the Gazette that homes along the west coast are being evacuated as a precaution.

The move follows waters at Khao Khat, on the east coast, reaching up to about 300 meters inland, washing coastal homes and vehicles away. People were holding on to whatever they could to stop from being swept away.

In Patong, Gazette columnist Woody Leonard reported, “A giant wave went up the beach, at least as far up as Beach Rd … People were running from the beach as fast as they could. The beach is devastated … There were a lot of people on the beach, [and they were] swept away by the wave.”

The waters reached as far inland as the Club Andaman Resort.

K. Kawee said that the tremors were also felt in Phang Nga, Ranong, Krabi, Trang and Pattani. The Gazette received a report that the surge left a Royal Thai Navy ship at Tab Lamu naval base beached.

--Phuket Gazette 2004-12-26

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Reuters update:

100 injured after tsunami hits Thai island

BANGKOK: -- At last 100 people were injured after a tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Andaman islands in the Indian Ocean struck the Thai tourist island of Phuket today, a government official said.

''There was a very large ocean wave after the earthquake and about 100 people were injured,'' Suparerk Tansriratanawong, director general of Thailand's Meteorological Department, told Reuters.

--Reuters 2004-12-26

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Just speak to a friend in Patong 30 min. ago on the phone, the are evacuating people on the high land on the mountain and police say more waves are coming.

I will call her later because they have to walk to evacuate and she did not have a lot of time to speak.

More to come ... :o

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Update:

Phuket coast swamped after Sumatra earthquake

PHUKET:--  Emergency response units have been scrambled after waters off Phuket surged onto land this morning, washing away homes on the east coast and causing damage at resorts all along the west coast.

The sea rose after tremors from an earthquake just before 7 am off Sumatra, Indonesia, that measured 8.1 on the Richter scale.

At 11 am, Phuket International Hospital confirmed that at least 10 people had been admitted for serious injuries, and that many more were expected to arrive.

At Bangkok Phuket Hospital, many other injured people had been received, though a total could not be provided.

The Gazette has received reports of deaths in Kalim, in Thalang, though that report has yet to be confirmed.

Kawee Sukunthamath, Chief of the Phuket Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM), has told the Gazette that homes along the west coast are being evacuated as a precaution.

The move follows waters at Khao Khat, on the east coast, reaching up to about 300 meters inland, washing coastal homes and vehicles away. People were holding on to whatever they could to stop from being swept away.

In Patong, Gazette columnist Woody Leonard reported, “A giant wave went up the beach, at least as far up as Beach Rd … People were running from the beach as fast as they could. The beach is devastated … There were a lot of people on the beach, [and they were] swept away by the wave.”

The waters reached as far inland as the Club Andaman Resort.

K. Kawee said that the tremors were also felt in Phang Nga, Ranong, Krabi, Trang and Pattani. The Gazette received a report that the surge left a Royal Thai Navy ship at Tab Lamu naval base beached.

--Phuket Gazette 2004-12-26

The Thai tv is saying 100 'sia jeewit' (dead)

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CNN correspondent Aneesh Raman in Bangkok said eye-witnesses spoke of a "wall of water" bearing down on the beachfronts of the popular resort of Phuket as at least two waves struck.

Raman said Thai officials were evacuating 10,000 people from the area, and there reportedly was "untold devastation".

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CNN correspondent Aneesh Raman in Bangkok said eye-witnesses spoke of a "wall of water" bearing down on the beachfronts of the popular resort of Phuket as at least two waves struck.

Raman said Thai officials were evacuating 10,000 people from the area, and there reportedly was "untold devastation".

i live in Ao-Nang, Krabi - loads of people missing as tours were leaving for the day - speaking to one lontail boat driver he said many other drivers were just leaving on tours as the wave hit. army are arriving in their masses and everyone has been told to evacuate the beach front as they say other waves are on the way. it is total panic here....lets hope for the best. i have pics but can't post them - can someone PM me and post them?

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This is the only place providing coverage - Thai television seems to be taking no notice.

News Channel 7 had news at 12.00 and ITV is reporting right now.

BBC World News had pictures from Phuket on the 13.00 news.

Unlike in the west, regular Thai TV programming is rarely interrupted for such things... The coverage will continue to be a part of normal newscasts today.

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Clearly a cause for soncern for everyone....

If you look at the number of people viewing this thread.

214 User(s) are reading this topic (181 Guests and 1 Anonymous Users)

8.5 is a very big earthquake The Richter measurement is logarithmic in nature, so a 8.5 quake is probably 10 times stronger than a 7.5.

Looks like also there is more going on near the Nicobar Islands off India.

My best wishes go out to all concerned and I hope there is no moew sadness.

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i have pics but can't post them - can someone PM me and post them?

To all: Please email any photos to me at [email protected] and I will post them her or in the gallery!

Thanks in advance!

Would be interested to see the pics. I've got a friend from the US on Karon beach and an older couple from England visiting Cape Panwa. Hope they're ok as I can't reach either of them right now.

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i have pics but can't post them - can someone PM me and post them?

To all: Please email any photos to me at [email protected] and I will post them her or in the gallery!

Thanks in advance!

Would be interested to see the pics. I've got a friend from the US on Karon beach and an older couple from England visiting Cape Panwa. Hope they're ok as I can't reach either of them right now.

landline phones seem to be working OK but most mobiles are not. power is off here - just relying on laptop battery

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George:

Really like your fast action on all Thai-related news. keep up the great work!

Now for the bad news.

Your "blinking eye" moniker is the most anonying icon I've run across. It really distracts from the content of your posts. I'm also scrolling down as fast as possible and start reading from the second or third paragraph. Anything to get the bloody eye away!

My advice: Get rid of it!

'Many tourists missing' as tidal waves slam Thailand's Phuket: report

BANGKOK: Huge tidal waves struck southern Thailand's popular resort island of Phuket Sunday, sweeping many tourists out to sea and forcing the evacuation of several hotels, a rescue worker said on state radio.

-- AFP 2004-12-26

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