SURVIVING THE TSUMANI - Part 1 - First LetterMonday, December 27
4:00 in the afternoon. 28 hours after the Tsunami hit Phuket, Thailand
This email was sent from Phuket from an internet café. I walked around for hours finding a place that had electricity and that would let me use their computer.
Dear Family and friends - I don't know how to even begin this.
In case you have not hear - two thing:
1. Because of an earthquake in Indonesia - tidal waves - or a "tsunami"
hit major beaches in the India Ocean
2. Phuket, Thailand is one of those areas.
3. And yes - I am here.
Ok. where to begin.
THE SETTING NOW: It is about 4:00 in the afternoon here in Phuket, Thailand. It was about 28 hours that the Tsunami hit. For the first 24 hours - we didn't have any electricity. Little by little - the electricity is being restored. I have walked inland about a mile where it has not been affected - and for a few minutes - am at an internet cafe – typing this email.
BASIC OF WHAT HAPPENED: At 7:00 am in Asia - in Sumatra – an earthquake happened - registering 8.9 on the rictor scale. As a result - hours later - all over Asia - it caused a phenominon called a "Tsumami." It is basically a large "rolling water" situation - and as I am on the coast of Thailand - in the Indian ocean - we saw this happen. As a result - the swell after swell of water rose above the walls of the beach here in Thailand. The water rose about 18 feet / 6-7 meters - and bascially destroyed everything below that mark for the first 3-4 blocks of the towns it hit.
BOTTOM LINE: I am fine. I was not in the wave - but passed by 4 minutes before it hit - and went up the hill to my hotel. Within minutes - the tsunami hit - and people shrieked. People ran up the hill - and last night - we had hundreds of refugees at the hotel. My room became the home of five people. We didn't have food, electricity. We had water. And beer from the mini fridges of hotels that were destroyed. Today - everyone is waking up to the reality of what happened. The shock is wearing off - and everyone is trying to deal with the realityof it all.
WHY IN THAILAND? I had decided to stay around Singpaore this holiday - having taken 20 business trips this last year - and just needing time and a place to think - be alone - and get ready for a new year. I decided to split my time off between a nice beautiuful beach - and Singapore. I left early yesterday morning - and arrivedon Dec 26 at about 10:00 am. The last time I stayed here - I stayed a a hotel on Kata beach. It isa nice place - and I nearly stayed there again. But this
time - I wanted to be closer to the larger beach - if for no other reason - to be within walking of the new Starbuck's that opened on the beach.
As I woke this morning, I realized two things. The place I would have stayed in Kata - was now wiped out. And secondly - the Starbucks is completey gone - only a few letters in the sign still standing.
I will tell you more about the story in some upcomign emails - but I want to send this off in case the power goes off or something happens.
I am well - and happy to feel safe. I will hopefully send more emails soon.