From 'Lectronic Latitude http://www.latitude38.com/LectronicL...#anchor1085433
If you're worried about a loved one traveling in southern Asia
, you can call a State Department hotline, or visit their Web site at http://travel.state.gov
In the U.S. the hotline phone
number is (888) 407-4747. From overseas, call (317) 472-2328.
The items that follow are from cruisers who are in the area.
[b]Death and Destruction in Phuke]/b]- December 27 - Phuket, Thailand
Reporting from Ao Nai Harn
are Bill and Sam Fleetwood aboard Blue Banana
out of Monterey:
"The giant earthquake which occurred off the west coast
of Sumatra yesterday morning created a tsunami ('tidal' wave) which caused much damage, death, and destruction here in Phuket and throughout Southeast Asia. We heard the earthquake was the strongest, worldwide, in 40 years.
"We are anchored in a bay called Nai Harn
. This is a deep bay and we had a lot of anchor
chain out, which was fortunate. We had absolutely no prior warning of the probability of a tsunami. The first we knew of the event was when we looked out our port and saw that we and other boats were spinning crazily. We believe this was caused by the rapid outflow of water
from the bay prior to the big wave. Then we heard screaming, so we climbed into the cockpit
just in time to watch a giant wave devour the beach and cover the road behind the beach. Hundreds of people had been sunning and playing on the beach. They and a multitude of beach chairs, umbrellas, food
and massage stands, restaurants, and clothing
shops disappeared in an instant, as did cars. We hope all the bathers survived. We did hear that on a neighboring island over 200 people died in a similar environment
. The restaurant where 200-300 of us had Christmas
Eve dinner is completely gone as is the pizza place where we had eaten the previous night. Nothing remains ashore but concrete slabs.
"In the main bay, Ao Chalong
, where we first anchored after arriving at Phuket, many boats were damaged, maybe some destroyed. There must have been at least 80 boats anchored here in our bay when the tsunami arrived, and none were lost
. Almost all of us got our anchors up as quickly as possible and went to sea to avoid the possibility of other tsunamis from aftershocks. About five hours later we were back, after retrieving a deck
load of plastic beach chairs, beach mats, boogie boards, etc., which had washed out and are littering the sea for miles. One boat thought they saw a body but it was just a mannequin.
"Our friends Phil and Janie on our sistership Tsolo
are in a marina at the north end of Phuket. We heard the water
there surged so high the docks almost floated off the tops of their pilings. We talked to Phil and Janie on our HF radio
last night and they are okay.
"Of the three marinas
, two of them, Telaga and Rebak, were totally destroyed with many boats severely damaged or sunk. The third marina, which is at the yacht club must have survived - a case of no news hopefully being good news.
"What a sad time for all here. Our boat radio
frequencies are alive with rumors mixed with fact and no means to differentiate. The good news, which we know for certain, is that we and Blue Banana
are just fine and were barely disturbed by all this."
No Drama in Harbor at Kuah
- December 27 - Langkawi, Malaysia
Tom Scott of Nepenthe
reports: "No worries. No drama. Just a quick note to let you know everything is fine after yesterday's earthquake and tidal wave. Here in Kuah, Langkawi, Malaysia
the effects of the quake were minimal. I was on deck
futzing around when the thing apparently arrived at Langkawi, but noticed absolutely nothing! Later on there was a very strong tidal stream: It is not often that Nepenthe can make 4-5 knots while at anchor
. The harbor at Kuah is pretty much enclosed - maybe that had something to do with it. I understand that other parts
of the island were not so lucky. The newspaper was delayed so I have only rumor at this point. Folks are saying that the marinas
at Rebak and Pantai Kok
both sustained significant damage."
Docks at Rebak Marina
Long-time cruiser and Latitude correspondent Leslie King III forwarded this email
from Mazrizal B. Othman, the assistant marina manager of the Marina Department at Rebak Marina in Langkawi:
"I sad to inform that there was TSUNAMI had hit Rebak Marina badly. All the dock
is gone and resume operation is in progress. Boats will be lifted up onto hardstand
as soon as possible. We will give you further news in the next few hours. Catamaran Bamboula
has sunk and will try to re-float her."