Sunday, December 26, 2004

Email #1 - Dec 26, 2004

From Katie - Dec 26, 2004:

David and I were each sitting at computers downstairs this morning at 8 AM and suddenly began to feel sick to our stomachs as things in front of our eyes began to move – it was the house starting to shake. And it kept on shaking slowly but surely. After several long minutes, we decided to get the boys up and out of the house (not knowing how long it would go on and how sturdy this house was). It didn’t last that much longer, but it was weird.

Since then we’ve been watching on the internet (check out the site above). If you look at a map, the northern tip of Sumatra where an 8.1 earthquake hit is not far from Phuket and since that first quake there have been other ones moving up a chain of islands – all to the west of Phuket.

I just spoke with Angie Batt, our neighbor two doors down whose husband is the manager of one of the 5-star Laguna hotels on the west coast. Evidently the sea water level rose by 2 meters, flooding the shoreline (sweeping all the hawkers’ booths into the lagoon), even flooding some of the ground-floor rooms of hotel buildings near the shore. One guest drowned when the wall of the lagoon he was standing next to collapsed due to the flooding water. We hear there are dead bodies floating in the seaside streets of Kamala and that there are deaths in Patong. I guess anyone swimming at 8 AM or walking along the beach on that western side of the island would have been swept away.

Gee, and we’re due to go out on Clive’s boat tonight. At least it’s big and steel-hulled, so impossible to capsize (they say). We’re on the east side of the island – as is Clive’s boat and we were due to head east – away from the earthquake area. We’re not going for 12 hours, so there’s time to see what’s happening with the earth.

But it’s horrible to think of drownings on the west side of the island – and lots of flooding damage.

More later,


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