I hope that we have not lost any of our members from travellers point, in this area when the earthquake and tidal wave. To think the number of people who have just arrived in oz from there were lucky ones. I hope admin will post any info they have and keep us all informed.
I agree with you!! This has been a terrible disaster and it really hit home with me today....My flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket this morning was delayed by an hour. It was early and I wasn't in a big rush. I was going to phuket to embark on a 13 day sailing course and my hostel was in Patong. Everything seemed to going well....chr istmas in Kuala Lumpur was fantastic by the way!!
So, i'm literally 10 minutes from landing in Phuket when the pilot announced that there has been an earthquake and that we were returning to KL! Most of the passengers took it quite well thinking that it must only be a small one....Once back in KL people were receiving updates from friends and family in phuket and it was devasting! I phoned my sailing company and at the time they thought that things would be fine in a short period of time...they are located on the east coast of the island so presume they had no idea...
So, i re-booked my flight for Monday morning...i now realize that my hostel in patong was severely damaged with people nearby washed out at sea....I don't know about you but i think you can appreciate how freaked out i got today....Plus, I'm a Canadian living in Sri Lanka and it is like a double whammy!! I called my home in Colombo to check on my black labrador but have been unable to locate some friends who were vacationing down in the south of sri lanka....it is simply too difficult to imagine what has taken place and it is certainly not over...
I hope to do what i can in phuket and leave sailing for now.
To all travellers out there, my thoughts are with you all!! Sorry for the longwinded post but i needed to get it off my chest!
P.S. Another weird thing is that i started a new book today, just as i got seated for my flight to phuket...."The 5 People You Will Meet in Heaven"!!!!!! Shit, i need a drink!!
my email is: [email protected] if you want to contact me...not sure how the communication will be in phuket at this point...
Muryo,i wish all the best to you, this is horrible!!!
I have many friends in Thailand at the moment and haven't heard anything from them..i really hope they are ok!
well, anyway..TAKE CARE!
I was reading in the paper that some waves got as far as Somalia travelling almost 3 km inland on river systems!! It seems the worst hit areas are Sri Lanka and Indonesia though, with thousands of fatalaties in each. Particularly the Aceh province was hard hit with over 3000 deaths counted already. Current estimates of total fatalaties are above 11,000.
Our thoughts go out to all the people affected by this disaster.
Got this off a newslink just a minute ago. Do remember them in your prayers today.
Sri Lanka: 4,300 dead
Indonesia: 4,185 dead
India: 2,900 dead
Thailand: 310 dead
Malaysia: 28 dead
Maldives: 10 dead
Bangladesh: 2 dead
muryo, my sympathies.
One way and another this truly is a catastrophe on a global scale. I believe about eight or nine countries (not those dirtectly affected) have posted fatalities so far.
babe, I'm sure admin will post anything they have.
Needless to say if we have any information pertaining to a Travellerspoint member, it will be posted here.
For updates on the news itself, we are just not quick enough to keep up with new information coming in every minute it seems.
I'm already hearing reports of the death toll being over 50 000 and possibly 75 000; it's terrible!
here is the latest news on the tsunami:
NEW DELHI- Even as the resorts of Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand become bereft of people, travel industry officials say visitors have started cancelling bookings to South Indian destinations and outbound bookings to Asian holiday destinations are being severely hit.
At least 70 foreigners, including eight Japanese, four Germans and four Indians, were confirmed killed in Sri Lanka.
Israeli tourists travelling in the affected areas who failed to contact their dear ones includes 160 persons on Andaman Island in the Bay of Bengal, 50 in Southern India, 270 in southern Thailand and 60 in Sri Lanka.
International visitors are fleeing India's premier tourist destination Goa fearing a tsunami impact on its shores. Goa, a magnet for Christmas and New Year revellers gets nearly 300,000 already. Of these, nearly 50,000 are foreigners. Buses, flights and trains leaving Goa were full.
The worst-hit were the idyllic-islands of Nicobar and Andaman islands known for their almost extinct indigenous tribes, now feared dead. Though the airstrip remains cracked at CarNicobar island, Indian Airlines has landed six flights and Jet Airways one flight to ferry tourists away.
Stories of good deeds are also coming in. A group of fishermen, for instance, helped to save the lives of over 500 people at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Undeterred by the high tides, fishermen put their boats out into the sea and went to rescue the stranded tourists after the deadly tsunami waves hit India's southeast coast.
Waves as high as 10 to 15 feet ravaged the Chennai coast. The Marina, one of its best known tourist attractions is swamped by stagnated seawater, damaged cars, boats and remnants of shops.
The industry is going to take a severe beating. Advisories by Australia, UK and US are also expected to impact tourism in the longrun for tsunami-hit countries. Australia has warned its citizens to stay away from the low-lying Indian Ocean archipelago of Maldives and avoid coastal areas of Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia. The US has also stated that its citizens should avoid the eastern coast of south India as aftershocks and a full moon in the coming days would causes turbulent tides, according to a national daily.
India's outbound travel growing at 20 percent had benefited Malaysia and neighbouring countries in particular. This business is hit sharply as flights to most south and south-east Asian destinations - bursting at the seams till tsunami struck - are now flying with low passenger loads.
"Tickets are now available on most flights to south and southeast Asian countries, but return flights are totally booked as tourists are scrambling to get out of these locations fearing aftershocks," Bird Travels director Ankur Bhatia, was quoted saying.
FYI, these are the latest confirmed numbers but they have just discovered that in Khao Lak 700 tourists have been killed.
Sri Lanka: 13,000 dead
Indonesia: 5,700 dead
India: 4,371 dead
Thailand: 1,010 dead
Maldives: 52 dead
Malaysia: 44 dead
Burma: 30 dead
Bangladesh: 2 dead
Somalia: 100 dead
Kenya: 1 dead
Seychelles: 3 dead
Tanzania: 10 dead
On top of this, Sri Lanka's government says it believes the number of dead there could rise to 20,000.
Hundreds of bodies have been found strewn around the devastated streets of Banda Aceh, capital of the Indonesian province of Aceh. The vice-president has warned that fatalities in the province could reach 25,000.
Fears are growing for the 40,000 residents of Meulaboh town on Sumatra's west coast, one of the areas closest to the quake's epicentre. Aerial surveillance shows little sign of life there.
And about 5,000 people are feared killed in the low-lying Andaman and Nicobar islands, say Indian officials.
source: BBC News
Thanks for all of the updates people....walking around Phuket Town is quite bizarre....Being a people watcher by trait, I am constantly moved emotionally when i see obvious survivors walking about town. Many restaurants have CNN or BBC on and crowds gather and watch....the local Thais watch the news in their language and the foreigners congregate around the english stations. There is very little conversation taking place and when it does all one can do is listen....
Yesterday I went to City Hall here in Phuket Town, where they have the Crisis Centre, with the intention of volunteering in any capacity that i can....In a matter of minutes i was answering calls from overseas from people looking for loved ones.....it was a very difficult thing for me to do especially because i did not have the right answers for them....So many couples, families have been split up....
I'm hoping to get to the Patong Beach area in a couple of days to help with the clean up...It is pretty much out of bounds for the moment due to the number of bodies....More and more bodies are starting to float to the surface....
When you think that the death toll has plateaued another large number of bodies arrive on the scene...
I have been having a tough time trying to contact friends in sri lanka....All we can do is pray, even if you are not affiliated with any religious organizations, for all of those people....Many were poor to begin with and now this....